29
March

Knowledge Is Power

As parents, we must talk to our children about sex abuse prevention. If you were abused as a child, it’s at your discretion whether you detail the events of your abuse to your child, but you at least need to have the conversation about what sex abuse is so they can protect themselves. Don’t make the mistake of believing they’re too young….this conversation needs to start early! Many victims are abused as early as 3 years old, if not younger, so teaching your children what appropriate and inappropriate touch is can help safeguard them from the sexual predator. Also, teaching them that they control what happens to their bodies, and that they have the right to say no to anyone’s touch gives them the power to speak up for themselves. Lastly, reassuring them that they can tell you if ANYONE is touching them in a way that makes them uncomfortable or violates the boundaries you’ve already taught is paramount.

If you were abused as a child and now you have fears about your children’s safety, that is normal. And, while your fears are warranted based on your own experience, you just don’t want your child to feel as if they live in a bubble and they have no understanding as to why. Therefore, you may need to explain your decisions to them in a manner that they can understand. For example, if you don’t allow them to sleep away from home or you don’t allow unsupervised play dates, let them know about your concerns for their overall safety and then try to construct alternatives like having the sleep over at your house or having play time at a venue that you are a little more comfortable with. There has to be a balance created to addresses your concerns while giving them the ability to just be a kid.

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18
March

When Did We Lose Our Humanity?

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57574728-504083/steubenville-rape-trial-verdict-judge-finds-both-teens-guilty-of-raping-16-year-old-girl/

This case serves as a lesson to all that we, as a society, have a HUGE problem with the way we view and subsequently treat women and children. Sadly, it is a global issue as well.

It is the utter disrespect of women and total neglect to view them as humans that perpetuates behavior that would somehow give a teenage boy license to violate a young woman and then suggest it wasn’t a big deal. That same disregard for women and children would then shape a defense that suggested that an intoxicated young woman consented to the crimes committed against her, and further argued that said crimes should be overlooked as nothing more than two boys horsing around or behaving badly.

The facts surrounding this case also leave me with so many questions like why were so many of their peers willing to stand by and watch a young woman being raped and transported like cattle from one location to the next? Why would a young man feel it was ok to suggest that someone urinate on her like she was an in-adamant object? Didn’t anyone teach these kids about basic humanity? Were these parents just that neglectful in educating their young men about respecting women, and what constitutes rape? Are parents in general just oblivious to the fact that teaching character and the willingness to stand up for what is right is still vital to raising good, responsible human beings?

This case should have NEVER happened! Priests molesting children should NEVER happen! Teachers and school administrators molesting kids and having sex with students should NEVER happen. Dads, cousins, uncles, brothers, aunts, and even mothers molesting, pimping, and raping our girls and boys, young men and young women should NEVER happen…..but it does. It’s happening everyday because somewhere along the line, women and children were viewed more so as a commodity and a possession and not as human beings who deserved to be loved and protected.

So while Trent Mays and Malik Richmond must be held responsible for raping a 16 yr old girl, every other person must be held accountable for their crimes against a group who has been muted for far too long….the sexually abused and sexually assaulted.

 

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6
March

The Children Are Our Future, So Why Don’t We Protect Them ?

I was lying in bed and began to contemplate the idea that the children are our future.  As the thought lingered, I became saddened by the fact that we, as a society, don’t seem to consider what this really means.  After all, we take precautions like purchasing car seats, child proofing the house, and feeding our children green leafy vegetables so they grow up to be healthy and strong.  We are warned to be on the look out for conditions like obesity, dental caries, and adolescent diabetes.  We even have programs aimed at preventing drug use, teen pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases.  But….when do we take the precaution of preventing child sex abuse?

If the children are truly our future, shouldn’t we take better precautions to ensure that their emotional and psychological health are protected just as much as their physical health?  This involves taking the time to understand the behavioral cues and grooming patterns of sexual predators.  Because, as we all know, they don’t walk around with a big red scarlet “A” for Abuser on their chest, nor do they announce their intentions.  Quite the contrary! They insinuate themselves into our lives ever so cleverly, and most of us are oblivious to their motives because we are caught up in the familial and social connections that we have with them.

In fact, the statistics speak louder than my words ever could.  Research tells us that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18.  90% of the abusers will be someone the child knows and trusts.  And, these children are at greater risk of suffering from depression, eating disorders, sexual promiscuity, and mental disorders etc. than children who aren’t sexually abused.  So if this is true, what kind of future are we creating for them when we don’t protect them?

Now some might say that they don’t have children so this isn’t “their problem,” but I beg to differ.  This is an issue that affects us all because we are talking about the emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being of those who will be tasked with running our country, raising the next generation, and caring for us in our old age!  So whether one has children or not, we will all depend on these kids at some point in our lives.  That said, we ALL have an obligation to protect our children – our future.

Protecting them starts with educating ourselves and creating a circle of safety for our children; teaching children boundaries and giving them permission to create boundaries for themselves, and speaking up when we see someone exhibiting potential problem behavior.  This includes trusted friends and family members, teachers, clergymen or neighbors.  Anytime you see someone exhibiting behavior that places a child at risk for sex abuse, say something.

As the song says, I believe the children are our future.  The question is, what type of future are they going to have if we don’t protect them today?  Rest assured, our collective failures as a society today, can and will have devastating and long-lasting effects tomorrow.

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