The information on this page is meant for a variety of youth and abilities. Some youth may be able to look at this material on their own. Others may need the help of a trusted adult.
Have you heard people talk about ‘having boundaries’? Boundaries help people to stay safe and be responsible.
There are different types of boundaries that act as a way to separate spaces, people, touch and trust.
Walls and fences are boundaries that we can see. We also set rules about who can come into our physical space, who can get close to us and touch us.
We use boundaries to set limits or rules, and understand what’s OK and not OK for us to do, say or take part in. This includes who we share personal information with, who we trust.
You’re the owner of your body. You get to control your actions, body and words and this helps you to set boundaries.
Good to know
An important part of taking care of your body is saying who can touch you and come into your personal space. Imagine your personal space like a bubble around you. Sometimes we like people coming close to us and other times it doesn’t feel good. Some people like hugs, but others aren’t huggers. You don’t have to like touches and hugging, it’s a choice.
What is public, what is private?
Growing up includes learning what activities, behaviours and information are private.
Public means you can share something with others; it also means that you are with others.
Private means something is not for sharing; it also means that you are alone.
Body Boundary Rules
Private body parts are parts that are covered by a bathing suit or underwear.
Private body parts need to be covered when you are in public places e.g., school, work, shared spaces at home such as your family room.
If you want to touch or scratch your private parts, wait until you are in a private place.
No one can touch your body without your permission or for a reason e.g., help with bathing, visiting a doctor.
It’s OK to say no if you don’t want someone to hug or touch you.
You can’t touch someone else’s body without their permission.
No one can see your body without your permission.
You can’t look at someone else’s private parts without their permission.
Your body should not be shown to anyone who does not want to see it.
Don’t keep secrets about touching; it’s not ok if someone tries to bribe or trick you to keep a secret; it’s not ok if someone asks you to keep secrets about touching.
Watch the video ‘You get to Decide’ to think about what you would do to make sure your boundaries are safe