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If you're looking for me to brag about how cute my kids are (which they are) or talk about how much weight I did or didn't lose this week, you are in the wrong place! I have a Facebook account for that. This blog is about the blunt truths of parenting, tips and tricks of the trade, some addicting mommy junk and all the other disgusting hilarity that ensues when you have kids...especially two kids only 12 months apart like myself.

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Friday, April 1

Prevent sexual abuse

I was never sexually abused. My kids have not been sexual abused, and I promise you, they will NOT be sexually abused because I am too much of a slapdick to not address the issue before it happens (I know there are cases that cannot be prevented...I am just doing my best to prevent the ones that can).

Here are a few stats I took from Darkness to Light, http://www.d2l.org/:

1 in 4 Girls will be sexually abused before she turns 18.

20% of sexual abuse victims are under the age of 8.

More than 90% of abusers are people children know, love or trust.

Ignorance is bliss...until someone gets hurt. As parents, it is our job to protect our children from the dangers of life as much as possible without sheltering them or filling their innocent heads with anxiety and fear of the world.

We can only keep them in our sight for so long until its off to school or daycare they go. From there, they will be alone with adults and other children. So how do we protect them from being sexually harassed?

Darkness to Light suggests seven steps. To read them go to http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6143703/k.15DC/7_Steps_to_Protecting_Our_Children.htm.

Their third step is to talk about it. This can be a touchy subject as you want to protect your children without exposing them too harshly to the fact about the monsters in this world (and give them crazy anxiety like I have). I suggest a few books for a range of comfort levels and ages. Don't be naive or stupid, stop this shit BEFORE it happens....

A very gentle, early approach is Some Parts are Not for Sharing. This is very G rated and dumbed down for even the most anxious father to read to his young daughter about not letting people touch "private parts". Great starter book for leery parent or child under two NOT going to daycare or often left with adults outside of mom or dad. I think the whole fish idea is pretty lame as fish are pretty off from human anatomy, but my kids like it.

My favorite for young kids is Your Body Belongs to You. Covers what parts are "private" (hidden by a swimsuit) and the idea that your body belongs to you so you can ask not to be kissed, hugged, touched etc if you don't like it and what to do if someone touches you in a way you don't like.

Another option is My Body Is Private (Albert Whitman Prairie Books). No pussyfooting around (pun intended) calling body parts what they are...penis, vagina etc. However, this is a very dry read and too long for kids under five or six for sure! I have opted not to read this to my kids yet, but I have in my library to read when they are older or for them to read when they are old enough.


maria said...

it's shame that the world has monsters that would abuse kids. we do have to let our kids know the boundaries when it comes to their bodies. it's a delicate balancing act between preparing them and scaring them.

Renee said...

You know as soon as Mads turned 2 Susan told us we should start teaching her that her privates are private. She said we should teach her that only 2 adults can see her there. 1. Her, the doctor and 2. One of us. ie > only one parent. Of course that would be me. But we've extended it to include daddy. But she had us start very early. Its sad we have to do that isn't it?

Meghan said...

The real sad part is that the abuser usually is doing so as a cry for help.

Jaclyn said...

No, the real sad part is that kids are being abused. Period. I work with child abusers (perps of physical, sexual, emotional abuse and general neglect - ie CPS) and although the perpetrators are sick and need help, my job is to protect chil...dren - first and foremost and I will not compromise a child's safety because the perp is crying out for help. Don't mean to be bitchy but when you work with abused children 40+ hours a week, the reality is the perps mean very little, at least in my book. April is child abuse prevention month. Every month should be child abuse prevention month. I like the book suggestions Ramona - we are always looking for new suggestions, etc for our parents and service providers to use. Keep up the blog - its a fun read :)

bubbi and boo said...

Thank you for your comments ladies! I know this is a sensitive subject, but I'm glad to know everyone seems to feel education and awareness is a good start.

Anonymous said...

Good topic - it helps remind parents to please be aware of who is watching your children and most importantly listen to your instinct - if something doesn't feel right it isn't!

On a different note - not the best place to post this but bigger kids-bigger problems and tonight is one of those nights but wanted to visit your blog and say thanks for the follow -following you back here kiddo.
Will visit again - very honest blog : D

Anonymous said...

Jac- Not bitchy at all! Having been abused by someone close to me as a child, I completely get what you are saying. It is sad,and I am not negating that. I just feel that there needs to be attention paid to the abusers before anyone gets hurt. I do everything I can to protect my child because I want to break the cycle for her.