The ABCs of Touch:
Ask. Boundaries. Consent.
The problem is not just that people are not taught to respect each other.
But also, that they are shown that not respecting each other often has little consequence.
We all have a responsibility to all of us to work on both of these. Pro-actively, not re-actively. Legislation after the fact does nothing to heal trauma. Especially when victims are shamed into secrecy, and transgressors are not punished.
Individual autonomy, especially bodily autonomy, is a human right. Any human rights violation is a violation against all humans. Not all of us recognize this, but it's true. Beyond that, the sum of these offenses equals the problems we currently have with being able to access healthy touch. Teachers are no longer supposed to pat students on the back. High schoolers get in trouble for hugging in the halls. We all pay a hefty price when a few overstep boundaries.
When your NO has been violated, ignored, or silenced, it affects your whole life. Being able to voice your needs is important to your feeling of wholeness as a human. Your right to control how, when, and by whom your body is touched weighs largely into your happiness. If you don't feel you currently have control over that right, you need to be working with someone (a counselor or life coach) to get it back. Boundaries exercises can help you re-empower yourself, and regain your voice. I may be able to help as well, if you like.
When we establish strong boundaries, and respect them, and we understand the nature and importance of consent, we free ourselves to be able to ask for exactly what we want, and be able to accept whatever answer we receive.
Thank you for taking care of yourself.