Monday, July 12, 2010

Protecting Our Children

This isn't going to be a fun happy post. But it needs to be posted nonetheless. I want to help someone spread the word about something that is....scary. horrible. tragic. infuriating.

Sexual assault against children.

My beloved friend Abbe has been going through hell the last two months. One of her sweet children was sexually assaulted. That's the nice way of phrasing what happened to her child. You can read her post about this here. This family has been in a nightmare trying to get through, adjust, figure out, investigate, find good, etc in all this.

Can I just say that one of my prayers has been "God, give them a break, please!"

They have decided to speak out in hopes that maybe, maybe one kid can be saved from going through this. That their story will remind you, inspire you, kick you in the pants to discuss with your kids good touches/bad touches...and how to always come to Mommy and Daddy with anything.

It has been hard on them. It has been hard on their family. It has been hard on their friends. We have all cried. We've all worried. Some of us have wondered, "what should we do going forward? are our kids safe?". Matt and I have discussed this in depth and wrestled with "what to do" for weeks. It is definately a fear-causer. Fortunately God is a fear crusher...when we let Him be. And we've tried to remind each other of that over and over again.

For years and years and years I suppressed an incident that happened when I was about 5 years old. I don't know what made me remember it, but I clearly do, it came back to me in college. I remember having nap time at the babysitters house. I hated that babysitter. The whole family was creepy. She made me eat soggy fruit loops. To this day the smell of fruit loops makes me gag. We would all be laying on mats in a dark room during nap time. I don't even remember who went to daycare with me. But I do remember that most afternoons, her husband would enter the dark room, come around to each mat, and make us touch his privates. He'd go around to each of us and make us do it. Fortunately "that's ALL" he did. I remember pretending to be asleep sometimes so I wouldn't have to do it.

I never breathed a word of it to my mom. I don't know why...but I would guess I figured I'd get in trouble or something worse would happen to me. Why would I be afraid of that? We need to make sure that our kids not only KNOW how they should and shouldn't be touched, or what they shouldn't have to do....but they have to know that they can come running to Mommy and Daddy and tell them anything, anytime. That our love is unconditional. Who knows how many other kids had to touch this guys' privates. Who knows if he did anything worse to other kids. This lady babysat for years.....! How would things have been different if I HAD told my mom right away? Fortunately, although I repressed it for years, I'm fine today. No scars other than this strangely vivid recollection of the event. But other kids are not so lucky.... and other assaults are so much worse.

Like the one Abbe's family is dealing with.

READ Their story. Teach your kids. Even the 2 year olds. Remind the high schoolers. Remind them that you are their first and best ally. That if something happens even though you HAVE educated them, even though they ARE smart, even though you have them somewhere that you ALL THINK IS SAFE....remind them that if something happens anyways, they need to tell you. Because...just like with Abbe sharing their story, we all need to keep the communications open to help bring this darkness to light, and to nail bastards like this.

I'm just saying.

While you're educating your children...please pray for this family. And pray for everyone who surrounds them, that we can lift them up, provide for their needs in any way possible, and fill them with more love and support than they have ever known before.

Thanks for sticking thru this hard topic with me. OXOXOX

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should of told your Mother. It hurts deeply that you have these memories. I always tried to protect my children as best I could, but how do you help or protect your child if you don't know what scares them or what terrible thing has happened to them?

I always felt guilty that I couldn't be a stay at home mom like my Mother. I never liked having someone else take care of my children.

That guilt never goes away and now it is deeper.

Love your children and teach them about the good in life, but protect them by teaching the bad in life, also. Maybe that is where I failed you.

Love, Mom