I've been seeing this article floating around on my Facebook timeline. Its titled "6 ways to protect your child from sexal abuse" as I looked through the article I could see several ideas that seemed liked pretty reasonable ways to protect kids from abuse... but then some I sorta disagreed with. Such as "do not force your child to give affection such as saying "gimmie a kiss"" .. come one who doesn't say that to their child? Or "telling your child to be good"... I believe telling my child she needs to behave in the store is perfectly acceptable!
But I'm still open minded to what the author was writing. I don't personally know the author, so I have no clue if she has any history of being sexually abused. But for me speaking as a person who has been sexually abused, I have to agree with one point the author made.
"Know that potential abusers may not be who you expect."
I was abused by a brother and my best friends brother. I have come in contact through years of therapy with others who have been abused and learned that it happens quite often that a family member or people close to the child are the abusers. That's one thing I really take from this article and one thing I hope people really know and understand to ALWAYS be careful of who you leave your child with.
My best friends brother raped me and it only happened one time. I was sleeping over at her house and her brother, who was very popular are cute had asked me to come into another room with him to watch a movie when it happened. My Mom didn't know for a while, and I pretended like it never happened. This is another reason why my kids will not be doing the sleepover thing... it happens a lot! It happens often that things like that happen during sleepovers. Not to mention experimenting with drugs and alcohol. This boy came from a nice Christian family, and it still happened.
My brother... well he has his own huge set of issues. Its been almost 3 years since I talked to him... but it happened about 10 years ago... about the year mark after I was raped. My brother knew I was taking sleeping medications and decided to sneak into my room and attack me, and it happened more then once. My parents room was right across the hall from mine. He was reported and did a lot of therapy and even some time in juvie for what he did for me, and is now currently in prison. He had admitted to abusing my little sister as well, which if you know about her she is handicapped and is physically incapable of talking. He also admitted to going after other family members as well. His issues are his own... and I have put him behind me, and I have forgiven him for what he did to me.
I only share these stories and experiences to open peoples eyes. This stuff does happen all the time! Its nothing my parents did wrong to cause me to be abused, these things happened to me because of the person who did it. I didn't do anything wrong, and to be honest I am not sure there was much I really could have done. My parents have often had issues about what happened to me and how they could have prevented it, especially when one of them happened in their own home. But this has caused me to really think about how P and I will raise our children... one of the hardest parts of being a parent is realizing that I just cannot protect Evelyn from everything, but I can learn from what has happened in my own life and apply that to my parenting today.
By telling my child what her body parts are at an early age is not going to stop her from abuse, and not asking for kisses is certainly not going to stop it either. All I can do is warn my child of the dangers in the world and do my best to protect her. Set up rules and hope that nothing happens to her. Limit the contact with people who watch her, and if I have a gut feeling, then I need to follow it and not dismiss it. One day my children will understand how I feel, and if they are mad they are not allowed to have sleep overs then so be it... but I will do all I can to protect them. That's just my input.