While attending a recent training with the COCAN network in St. Louis, I was reminded of a few sexual Ground Rules that are used in group treatment for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior. Given the current political climate and wave of people reporting their prior sexual trauma experiences, it seems that a reminder of basic rules may be a good starting point for boundary discussions with adults about non-consensual sexual behavior as well. These might be some basic rules to follow for appropriate sexual behavior when you do not have enthusiastic consent with another adult. If you violate one of these rules with a co-worker or someone who is not your consenting partner, you may be at risk of inflicting trauma on someone else.
1) It is not OK to touch other people's Private parts
2) It is not OK to show your private parts to others
3) It is not OK to look at other people's private parts
4) It is not OK to use sexual language or make other people uncomfortable with your sexual behavior
5) It is OK to touch your own private parts as long as it is in private and doesn't take too much time.
Megan Garza, MA, LMFT is a certified Specialist in Treating Trauma at a Supervisory level and is Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She specializes in work with sexual abuse survivors.