I am struggling with this as well. I was molested a few times as a child and I agree with the OP that it is the parent's duty to protect their child. I've just finished reading A Stolen Life and have sort of become paranoid. DD just gets so little of what I am trying to tell her. Maybe I am making her fearful but in my mind she'd rather be scared of strangers than be too comfortable. Dh doesn't really get it either. He's really cool, I'd say just like my father - sexual abuse doesn't ever cross his mind. He's careful but over this issue - not at all.
If I tried to explain rape and sexual abuse, she would understand none of it. She is 4.5. About being a survivor, well, I have told her things like I was going up our apt. bldg stair case and a man grabbed me. She gets v. scared when I tell her that. And to most things she asks "Why?" I've been telling her that there are bad people out there, men and women and we just have to be aware of that. But, that's as far as she'll understand. She goes down and comes up our apt. stair case independently, but I stand at our apt. door till she goes out and is in my view. I constantly watch her from our window if I am not out with her. I get no work done until she is out there. I should tell her to shout loudly but I am wondering if a stranger approached her with candy or something like that will she understand it is a trap? I have warned her of that but I bet if it were to actually happen she would have no memory of it.
Don't want to take away from your post or add fears but hoping that this will create little more awarness. I had read a post in which the pp said she was molested at school. I don't know why I didn't ask her but I have always wondered how that could have happened. It is v. possible dd was on my case and I forgot to get back to the thread. I am worried school bathrooms arent' safe. I don't know if I am being paranoid. I am also relating this to a recent incident at the public pool. We were at our town's public swimming pool changing/shower room and while I was changing a staff member ( a man) had walked in. I was a bit shocked as I am hearing him. The shower cubicles had curtains but you know how those curtains are where u can peek from the sides. I might have confronted him but I was changing. And that brings me to worry that cleaners might be walking into the girl's bathrooms at school.
Sorry, I am not much help. I am here for help too.
I wonder how others handle this. Do you explicitly explain that there are people who will sexually abuse and rape children? Do you tell them what to do if they find themselves in a situation where someone is trying to harm them? If you are a survivor yourself, have you told your children about that?
We have discussed self-defense, screaming really loudly to attract attention and scare off attackers, and that kind of thing. I protect my children from sexual abuse by being there all the time, or with close friends whom I trust. But you never know what might happen, and I'd like to equip my children to keep themselves safe independently, as well.
Radiate happiness and see what difference it makes to your life and that of others ~ Unknown
i really think kids need to know age appropriate information about their bodies and sex and that NO ONE should be touching them on their private parts or asking them to do the same. the vast majority of sexual abuse occurs in the home, either by fathers or stepfathers and our children need to know that they HAVE to tell no matter what and that those type of secrets are not to be kept. i tell my kids that they have to tell me even if it is about someone they love, like their dad, grandparents, uncles etc and that by telling they are doing a very loving thing for the person who hurt them so that they can get the help they need also to stop hurting others.
problem is, sexual abuse is complicated by feelings of love and loyalty on behalf of the child. i think it is something like 1 in 10 kids actually tell someone about the molestation/abuse. i don't know that there is a simple or easy way to address this topic to our kids
mothers very often do NOT recognize or see the abuse, that is also a myth and i think we need to stay away from "blaming" moms for something they had no clue about.
Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids.
I wonder about this...I have big issues with my mom who left me with her abuser for the nights she went out and me and sister got to sleep in his bed with him...there were only a couple minor incidents..but I told my mom and I was brushed off as being perverted for having dirty thoughts at the age of five...seems like everyone I know was a victim at some point and I have trust issues and really just don't let many people watch my kids..though I did leave ds with dhs friends while we had dd...it has been hard letting ds go to ps, as I am terrified that an older child or male at the school may harm him so I have upped our safety talks, though in reality I do believe he is at little risk at school but I must internally convince myself and must teach him and eventually dd the lifeskills to help themselves and know what to do in an abusive situation.
I am so sorry! Unfortunately, this is exactly what I was talking about when I said parents have a duty to watch out for warning signs. It is not a myth that they do mostly exist. And, the most obvious warning sign of them all is a kid actually TELLING their parent about abuse. Sadly even that is brushed off all too often. It happened to me, too. I was 11, but the reaction was to my telling was similar.
Not sure if anyone posted this yet, but there is a well done short video that we have that I think does a great job! I don't have time to write more but thought I'd share. My little 8 week old is beckoning me! :)