We all have personal likes and things that make us uncomfortable. “Personal space” is the private area of control inside an imaginary line or boundary that defines each person as separate. Ideally, that boundary helps us stay in charge of our own personal space. It helps keep out the things that make us uncomfortable - unsafe and unwanted feelings, words, images, and physical contact. Solid social rules strengthen the boundary. Behaviors that routinely disrespect or ignore boundaries make children vulnerable to abuse.

Do you know an adult or older child who doesn’t seem to understand what’s acceptable when it comes to:

Personal space

Relationships with children

Sexual conversation or behavior

Good boundaries help prevent abuse. Starting a conversation with someone who behaves in these ways is an important first step to keeping everyone safe. Read our Let's Talk Guidebook for help in speaking up.

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