#IWillGoOut became a nationwide series of social protests against street harassment of women in India born out of a change.org petition and Facebook, early in 2017. But, someone who was involved with the movement since its inception and is currently a national coordinator, is also the HowtoTellYourChild Program Director, Divya Titus.
Divya’s passion toward highlighting gender and child health issues stemmed in college, which drove her to become an ICICI Fellow and work on issues like girl child education and health. She took her interest to graduate school and researched women’s employment opportunities in rural India and factors that affect early child health.
“When I found out about How To Tell Your Child in 2016, I was excited about how broad the scope of the project was and I immediately wanted to be a part of helping it grow,” said Divya. She connected with the founder, Deepa, while on another project and discovered their common passion toward issues such as preventing child abuse, increasing awareness about reproduction and safe sex.
Divya was raised in an open household with honest conversation. Taboo topics weren’t thrown under the rug, and neither was adult baggage brought to the conversation. From an early age, her parents taught her and her brother about child safety, puberty, and that they had control over their own bodies.
“I am a strong believer in tackling taboos head on. Talking about these issues is the only way we can get rid of taboos,” said Divya. She aims to bring her experience to every family by giving them the resources they need to talk about topics that might seem awkward at first, because she believes that through the awkwardness grows strong and meaningful relationships with parents and guardians.
“How To Tell Your Child’s videos and books make these conversations extremely easy for both parents and young children. They are simple enough for children as young as 4 and 5 to understand these concepts and I think that’s the best part about our content, said Divya.
Her most rewarding experience has been interacting with people across the globe who have connected strongly with How To Tell Your Child’s content. Hearing about how a child in Mexico reported abuse and got help after watching the videos; to hearing how an aunt in Vietnam could better connect with her nieces and nephews through the content has been extremely gratifying for her.
She envisions How To Tell Your Child growing to be THE platform parents and caregivers worldwide come to when they need help talking to their children about any topic from child safety to bullying to body positivity and consent. She imagines How To Tell Your Child leading the way in empowering parents and children to have honest conversations about these topics.
“Parenting is definitely one of the most difficult jobs out there today, and kids these days are exposed to so much at such young ages. It can be hard for parents to find ways to protect their children. This is where a platform like How To Tell Your Child can come in and help parents with all the information and tools they need to be better parents in the 21st century, said Divya.