SPOKANE, Wash. – The Girl Scouts of America posted on Facebook saying that girls do not owe anyone a hug, not even family, during the holidays and that making her hug someone could send her the wrong message about consent.
A lot of people were quick to react. Some people said they never force their children to hug anyone if they do not want to. Others said just because a child hugs someone, does not mean it sends the wrong message about consent.
Stacie Davis, the Engagement Director for the Girls Scouts of Eastern Washington and North Idaho said the article is part of a bigger conversation about raising girls to be strong.
"We encourage girls to stand up for themselves, to be courageous to be strong," Davis said.
The idea is that forcing your daughter to give someone a hug gives the wrong idea about consent and physical affection.
"By allowing girls to make their own choices as to who they want to give affection to and when, even in regards to their own family, it allows them to be empowered to have their own decisions in the future," Davis explained.
KREM 2 did a story with Spokane Police back in 2016 and learned women are often too polite in situations where we need to stand up for ourselves.
"Polite has a place, and polite does not have a place depending on the situation and it is important for girls to know that they have the ability to make those choices, to determine what's right for them and to stand up for those who need help, when they need help, to set boundaries," Davis said.
The Girl Scouts said they do not want to tell any parent what they should and should not do. Instead, the article is a resource to help parents have tough conversations with their children.
"It addressed the issues of consent, it addresses some of those issues that are so prevalent in the media today with sexual harassment and those sorts of things and it gives them the courage to be able to say this is my space and I get to determine how my space is owned by myself," Davis explained.
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