Holiday Safety Tip #2: Even Santa Needs Consent
The holidays bring up a wide variety of unwanted touch – from the handsy person at the office holiday party to the hug-demanding relative. Depending on your relationship with the person and the specific situation, you may make different choices around whether to set a boundary and how to go about it. But if you think a situation like this may come up for you, you can think through some strategies and responses ahead of time!
One choice may be to make up an excuse like “I think I’m coming down with something and I don’t want to make you sick” or “I’ve just eaten way too much pie and a hug might make me burst!” Another choice is to simply stay out of arm’s reach. And yet another choice is to set a clear verbal boundary by saying “It’s great to see you. I don’t feel like hugging though”, or “don’t touch me”, or “that makes me uncomfortable” - depending on the situation.
And remember, if you are getting together with family and friends this holiday season, it is an opportunity to teach your loved ones what level of physical contact you are comfortable with. It’s also a wonderful time to not only demonstrate how to set boundaries, but what it looks like to ask for consent and respect the bodily autonomy of others.
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We hope the holiday season is safe and enjoyable so far. Check your inbox or our blog for the rest of our Holiday Safety Tips series - featuring more delightful illustrations from our multi-talented instructor Jemma Jorel Lester.