| || |
Seven Steps to Protecting Our Children
November 9, 2010 - Betsy Bethel
No parent can be everywhere all the time. No parent can prevent any harm from coming to their children 100 percent of the time. Parents are there to guide not smother. See my current blog post over at The Intelligencer website, www.theintelligencer.net, for more on that subject.
This is not that subject, however.
This is about what we CAN do to protect our children.
The reality is there are people out there who want to hurt our children. Badly. With little or no remorse. With no incentive to stop because they are getting what they want and no one knows about it. One in six boys and one in four girls will be sexually abused by the time they are 18. The abusers could be your neighbor, the mail carrier, the coach, the teacher, your brother, your boyfriend, your dad and yes, even your mother.
We can't lock up our kids or be with them every minute. But we have to have common sense. One of the most important things a parent can do to protect a son or daughter is to listen to that sixth sense, that gut feeling, that bell that goes off in their head that says, "There's something not right about this guy or gal or situation." One of the "test" statements I've heard in sexual abuse prevention circles is "If someone wants to spend more time with your kid than you do, be wary."
In light of the most recent allegations against a Flushing resident and teacher education faculty member at Bethany College of raping children under age 10, I want to share with you these Seven Steps to Protecting Our Children. They come from the Darkness to Light organization, which is dedicated to raising awareness in order to prevent child sexual abuse.
1. Learn the facts. Understand the risks. Realities — not trust — should influence your decisions regarding children.
2. Minimize opportunity. If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you'll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.
3. Talk about it. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.
4. Stay alert. Don't expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused.
5. Make a plan. Learn where to go, whom to call and how to react.
6. Act on suspicions. The future of your child's well-being is at stake.
7. Get involved. Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.
I have listed several links to this post of websites that will help you get the information you need to start enacting these seven steps.
No, we can't be with our children every minute, can't protect them from harm 100 percent of the time. But we can be aware, listen to our gut and talk to our kids (without scaring them) about how to say no and what is the difference between "good touch" and "bad touch."
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment