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.

Category: For Dads, For Moms, For Survivors, Uncategorized |

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