It Could Not Happen To My Child

Before we even meet our child we feel protective towards it.
These feelings are magnified when we hold our tiny bundle.small__4348196337
We are sure in that moment,
That nothing or no one,
Will ever hurt this child of ours.

However  life is not as predictable as that.
Our child will struggle at times.
They will feel left out,
Lonely, afraid, nervous and sad.
They will experience bullying and exclusion.

For all these moments we hope we are there to help.

However  a number of children,

In fact as many as 25%,
Will suffer sexual abuse,
By the time they are 18 years old.
That is one in every four children!

Look around you.

That is  a lot of children,
Who will loose their childhood.
A lot of  families left broken.

The good news is,
that child sexual abuse is on the decrease.
The most likely answer to why,
Is education.

In order to prevent abuse we must accept it may happen.

Your child is in very real danger if you believe,
“This could not happen in my family”.
Sexual abuse occurs in every race.
It is not more prevalent in any particular social class.

How can we keep our child safe?

Well recognizing the real danger for your child is the first step.
The next is to educate yourself,
Then educate your child.

We are all relatively comfortable,
with the idea of  talking to our children about “stranger danger”.
This we understand,
A stranger, a bad person, someone sick minded,
Might hurt our child.
We speak to them about not talking to strangers,
Not trusting them,
Shouting for help,
Running away.

Yet 93% of all abuse  is by someone known and trusted.small__5533216942
A family member, a family friend.

Educating our children about this is something we are less likely to do.
Even more frightening is the statistics which say,
34% of children aged 11-17yrs,
Who had experienced contact child abuse from an adult did not tell anyone.
82.7%  of children aged 11-17 yrs,
Who experienced contact child abuse from a peer, told no one!

So the statistics are telling us,

It is highly likely your child will be abused,
And they will not tell you.

You have read this,
You no longer have ignorance as your excuse.
Visit the relevant organisations online,
Educate yourself,
Educate your children.

It could happen in your family.
Please do not let this be a secret your child will never tell you.

I first published this on the parents-space which is a great site for all parents, which I contribute to, as do many others. You should check it out.
It is a subject very close to my heart.

photo credit: Katie Tegtmeyer via photopin cc

photo credit: lanier67 via photopin cc

13 thoughts on “It Could Not Happen To My Child

  1. The problem with teaching our kids to beware of strangers is that a child’s idea of a stranger is not always the same as ours. The postman, milkman, fellow commuters at bus stop or metro, people who live in our neighbourhood – we see them regularly, but because we have never spoken to them, don’t know their name or anything else about them, we would regard them as a stranger, even though they are a familiar figure to us. A child, however, may see things differently, equating ‘familiar’ with ‘safe’

    The greater danger, though, as your statistics show comes from family members or friends of the family. Since these will rarely be reported (for fear of not being believed or being punished), we need to watch for behavioural signs that may indicate something is wrong – a reluctance to be alone in another family member’s company, mood changes, e.g., from happy, easy-going to quiet, withdrawn that correlate with visits from the same family member

    And above all, if your child reports he or she has been abused, believe and support them – even if the accused is your partner !

    1. Great post link. It was very appropriate. Thanks. I’m not sure you can really prevent abuse because those who are abusers are so good at what they do, but I think it is possible to help stop it sooner.

  2. It’s shocking to realize that so much evil is around. The Boston Marathon tragedy of yesterday delivers the same harsh reality check and hard facts of life. Identifying such evil and uprooting it with legal means is the only best way to clean the society, so that our future generations can enjoy better world, safely and happily. Thanks for a good article.

  3. beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this. Do you have any advice for what age and how to start talking about this with our kids? I don’t know how and when or where to begin…

    1. I think it is very important to educate yourself first. The two links I gave have some very helpful advice. I hope to do another post for parents-space in the next week on what you are asking. There is no need to frighten children or take away their innocence, but they do need to know the rights and wrongs of contact and to discuss good feelings and bad feelings, safety and secrets. All age appropriate of course.

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