Most of us do not want to linger over sexual abuse of children. Just imagining it makes the parents shudder! However, that is a frightening and unpleasant reality in the world today, and its influence on children can be devastating. Is there any point in discussing this subject? Think about it, how much sacrifice are you willing to make for your child’s safety? Finding out about the unpleasant facts about harassment must have been little sacrifice. This knowledge can actually be very useful.
Don’t let this problem become a scourge that takes away your courage. At the very least, you have an advantage that your child does not have — the ability your child can only get after years, or even decades. Because you have lived longer, you already have assets in the form of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. The key is to add these assets and use them to protect your child. We will discuss three basic steps that can be taken by each parent. The steps are: (1) Be the first line of defense for your child, (2) give your child enough information about sex and (3) equip your child with some basic instructions to protect themselves.
Are You the First Line of Defense?
The main responsibility for protecting children from abuse is with parents, not children. Therefore, parents must be educated before they can educate children. If you are a parent, there are a number of things you need to know. You need to know the characteristics of the perpetrator and how the mode is. Parents often imagine the perpetrator as an unknown person lurking in the dark, searching for ways to kidnap and rape children. Such bad people do exist. News media often reports about them. However, they are relatively rare. In about 90 percent of cases of child sexual abuse, the culprit is someone who has been known and trusted by the child.
Naturally, you don’t want to think that neighbors, teachers, medical personnel, sports coaches, or kind-hearted relatives can lust for your child. And, most people don’t. You don’t need to suspect everyone around you. However, you can protect your child by knowing the typical tactics of a harasser.
By recognizing these tactics, you as a parent can be better prepared to act as the first line of defense. For example, if someone, who seems more interested in children than an adult, gives special attention and gifts to your child or offers to keep them free of charge or take a trip together with your child, what would you do? Do you immediately conclude that he must be a rapist? Do not quickly draw conclusions. He may not mean anything. Even so, it can alert you. The Bible says: “Inexperienced people believe in every word, but people who are smart consider their steps
Remember, any offer that sounds grandiose might be insincere. Carefully pay attention to everyone who offers to be alone with your child. Tell him that you regularly monitor your child’s activities from time to time. Mimi and Tono, young parents with three sons, are careful when leaving their children together with adults. When one of his children studied music at home, Mimi told the teacher, “I will go in and out of this room as long as you teach.” This alert attitude seems extreme, but this old man is more willing to bother now than later.
Get involved actively with your child’s activities, friendships and school assignments. Learn all the details about each planned walk. A mental health expert who for 33 years handled sexual abuse cases said that he had seen countless cases that could have been avoided if only parents were a little cautious. He quoted the words of a convicted offender, “Parents themselves gave up their children. . . . They make it easy for me. “Remember, most actors prefer easy-to-eat targets. Children whose parents are actively involved in their lives will be difficult targets.