Vilda säger nej

Children’s books that support conversations about integrity and sexual abuse


“Vilda says NO!”, “Stella and the secret”


Britta Holmberg
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It is always the responsibility of adults to protect children from sexual abuse. But as this crime often is committed behind closed doors and with no witnesses, it is often the children who have to disclose. To be able to do this, it is important that children learn early about integrity, elf-autonomy and children’s rights and what others and are allowed and not allowed to do to them. Reading books together with your child is a good way to begin conversations with your child about difficult issues. By reading and discussing with your child about their rights and boundaries, you also demonstrate that it is something you feel comfortable talking about, which in turn can make it easier for the child to talk to you if something happens.

The right to say no

In 2003, Marie Boson Rydell published the book Vilda Säger NEJ! (Vilda says NO!) in collaboration with Childhood. The book addresses different situations where children’s boundaries are, consciously and unconsciously, violated by others. The book, updated in 2016, also includes a parental/adult guideline. The target group is preschool age children (4 to 6 years).

What do you do when something feels wrong?

In the book Stella and the Secret Princess Madeleine addresses children aged 6 to 9 years who are independent readers. The story raises many difficult questions relating to integrity, confidence and self-esteem: How can you stand up for yourself and others? How can you be courageous and say no when something feels wrong?  A parental/adult guide, produced in collaboration with Childhood, accompanies the book.

Photo: Kajsa Hagskog