Originally Posted by Storm Bride
How on earth can you possible know that? Do you have any idea how many women don't talk about it - ever? They simply don't discuss it. They've internalized the very clear message that they did something wrong. I'm not sure I even know 10,000 women - but I'm sure I know women who were molested who have never told me about it.
And, again - how do you know? I was talking to someone I went to school with at my 15 year reunion. We'd gone to the same school from 4th grade to graduation (4-7 at the school with the creepy janitor). I said something to her about it, and she was stunned. She'd had no idea whatsoever that it happened in "our school". It's not like the perverts or their victims walk around with a sign announcing that it's happening.
Obviously, it's up to you. I don't remember how old your girls are, but they probably already know it happens, anyway. It's not anywhere near as underground as it was when I was a child. (Nobody admitted that it happened at all back then.) I sincerely hope it doesn't ever happen to either of your children - I wish it would never happen to anyone again. It's horribly damaging.
Yes, yes, yes. To say that statistically
it's not going to happen.. statistics don't help if it does happen to you or someone you love. I dislike the current media circus and overprotective (to the point of smothering) tendencies.. but what is the harm in raising children to believe that sometimes, bad things happen to good people?
Nearly everyone I know has suffered sexual abuse or rape at least once in their life, many of them as children. In my own family - my father (school janitor, pastor, friend), three of my four aunts (boyfriend, Strange Man Next Door, date rape) both my great-uncles (at the hands of my great-grandfather). And that is just the people in my family who have shared what happened to them. When I say sexual abuse I am not counting sexual harassment (which many women get nonstop from before puberty), garden variety sexual touching (guys pinching your butt at work) or stalking (people like to joke about stalking and act like it's flattering.. it's not a laughing matter IMO, it is extremely threatening and often leads to much worse). I can say pretty certainly that every woman I know has experienced these (perhaps less traumatic, but no less serious) violations.
It's epidemic and it's not openly discussed in our society. There is stigma, shame.. and many people don't admit or know that what happened 'counted' as sexual abuse or rape. Or suppress the memory for years and years. Plenty of people say they don't know anyone it happened to - that just means no one has ever shared with you.
Honestly, I don't see how discussing these issues with children (in the most generalized way if you like) is 'scaring them'. We teach our kids to look both ways crossing the street, be safe around heights, not to play with fire or electricity, etc - to me at least, educating them that sometimes, people touch other people in a way that feels wrong or bad, or threaten them in various ways - and that if this does happen to them, they can say no, and to please tell their parents who will listen and stop whatever this person is doing - is no different. I've known about 'bad touch' since I was 6 and I have never lived in fear that it will happen to me. I do feel it has contributed to my awareness of predatory behavior and many times allowed me to sense bad intentions, defend myself or speak out when I otherwise would have stayed silent.