What to tell your kids about the ‘rape’ game

By Drum Digital
21 August 2014

An unnerving new trend among learners in Western Cape schools has emerged this week. Children as young as 10 are reportedly playing a game called “rape, rape”. Our expert weighs in on the best way for parents to handle it.

An unnerving new trend among learners in Western Cape schools has emerged this week. Children as young as 10 are reportedly playing a game called “rape, rape”.

Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on Monday that if children, including primary school children, are engaging in games in which boys run after girls and pretend to rape them, as reported, this reflects a serious problem within our society.

The game is similar to tag or kiss chase in which boys run after girls and are allowed to kiss them when they catch them. The difference is that when a girl is caught, a boy will pin her down and simulate rape for up to 20 seconds. Once “raped”, the girl is out of the game. The game continues until all girls have been “raped”.

What should parents tell their kids?

Schäfer has appealed to parents to educate children at home about the differences between right and wrong. So what should you say to your child if you suspect he or she is playing the “rape” game?

It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your child about what’s allowed, whether you suspect he or she is playing this game or not, says Elise Fourie, an educational psychologist from Pretoria.

She doesn’t recommend you explain to children younger than 10 what rape is, as this can lead to fear and anxiety.

“Even with older children I would suggest rather speaking about ‘bad touching’,” Fourie says.

She suggests you tell your kids the following:

  • Your body is private; everything under your bathing costume is private.
  • Any type of touching that makes you feel strange isn’t acceptable.
  • If you touch another child and it makes them feel strange it isn’t acceptable.
  • You may not touch other kids where it’s private.
  • It hurts other kids’ feelings if you touch them where it’s private.
  • We shouldn’t do ugly things with other people’s bodies.
  • When a boy touches a girl in a bad way, it makes her feel sad.
  • Girls should tell boys: “Stop it! That’s bad!” and tell you or their dad immediately.
  • Boys, if they see their friends are hurting girls’ feelings, should tell them to stop.

-Shané Barnard

Extra source: Sapa

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