Hello everyone. I hope you all had a nice Easter holiday. I know I did, and it was just what I needed to get back on track with my writing. I’ve been working on my revisions, and I’m excited about the way my story is coming together. But enough about that. I’m back today to talk about a serious subject. One I feel strongly about, and that subject is protecting our kids from abuse.
Our children are innocents. They don’t have the emotional capacity to deal with a predator when they come across one and let’s face it, most of them look like you or me. Some of them are doctors or priests. (Don’t get me started on the Catholic Church and the abuse they covered up for years.) They’re adults and they know how to manipulate and control their victims. To a child these people look trustworthy and they are everywhere, online, in schools and in our churches. So how can we protect our kids?
Photo credit: Stijn Goris via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND
First of all, let’s look at what type of victim predators look for. It’s the same type of victim whether the predator is a pedophile, a human trafficker, or an abuser. The type of child they look for is someone who doesn’t have a strong support system. A loner. A kid who doesn’t have a lot of friends or a strong family unit. They’re looking for a kid who’s emotionally needy. Someone they can ply with compliments and gifts so the kid becomes dependent on them for their self-esteem, and that’s when the abuse starts.
So how do we make sure we don’t raise victims? By being an involved parent. These predators don’t go after the kid whose parent is present watching baseball practice and cheering their youngster on. They don’t go after the kid whose parent is there picking them up from school every day. They go after the ones who don’t have a strong role model. The ones where the parent maybe is dealing with issues of their own, the death of a spouse, a divorce, or a mental illness.
Photo via VisualHunt
So how do we protect the kids whose parents are going through a divorce or a sudden death? That’s when we have to look to our community to help out. If you can’t be at the bus stop to pick up your kid, ask a neighbor to watch them to make sure they make it home, or if you can afford it, hire a babysitter. Someone responsible enough to be there for them.
Photo via Visual Hunt
If there is strong community support, predators can’t get in and our children are safe. Let’s face it. If our kids aren’t safe then we all lose, wouldn’t you agree?
Also, talk to your kids. Teach them to be suspicious of adults, who aren’t in your family, who buy them gifts and seem to give them a lot of attention. Teach them to be their own advocate. Tell them it’s okay for them to tell an adult, “I’m not comfortable with this. Please stop.” And tell them they can yell it if they need to. They won’t be punished for it. Let’s keep our littles safe.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I feel strongly about this and I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas on ways to protect our kids you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
17 thoughts on “Protecting our Kids from Abuse”
Lisa, it is important to keep this topic in front of the public. Children should never be left to fend for themselves, they are too vulnerable to this type of abuse.
You are so right, Bernadette! Thanks for stopping by!
Spot on. And you employed so much more class and respect than I did when I broached the topic of church sanctioned pedophiles. I couldn’t seem to refrain from vulgarity and mild blasphemy. Then again, I can say that about most topics about which I’ve written.
Believe me. I feel those angry feelings and would love to yell obscenities at the perpetrators of the abuse, especially the priests. What a total violation of trust. It makes me sick. I feel we need to have stronger penalties for the abusers. Make sure they don’t abuse again.And, we as parents need to be present in our kids lives to make sure they can’t be victimized. Oy! I’ll get off my soapbox now. Thanks for stopping by! I love your comments!
An important topic to write about Lisa, thanks. I agree with all you say. However, I will point out that sometimes, tragically, the “responsible person” who was always trusted by the parents, turns out to be the predator. The teacher. The scout leader. The uncle. To name just a few examples. I cannot start to understand the pain that this discovery can lead to. Unfortunately, there seems no way to guarantee someone is 100% responsible, or do you disagree?
I agree with you, Denzil and you raise an important point that I should have addressed. It’s very hard when the perpetrator is a trusted adult because that’s their MO. They gain trust and then abuse. But when the parent trusts the abuser that’s really hard. I feel we need to teach our kids that it’s okay to tell an adult, “No. I’m not comfortable with that.” Or something along those lines. We need to teach our kids that they deserve to have their boundaries respected. And we have to believe our kids when they tell us Uncle Bob hurt me or made me uncomfortable and take immediate action.
You’re right Lisa. Although it makes my heart break at the thought of having to tell an 8-year old these things, at an age when simple trust and innocence lie at the very heart of all their actions.
I know. I wish there were a better way.
A very interesting read about a very important issue. When I ask my daughter for a hug & she says no, I always respond by saying “that’s ok you don’t have to hug someone when you don’t want”. I want her to grow up knowing that she’s in charge of her own body. Great post Lisa.
Thanks. I like how you respond to your daughter. Sounds like you’re a great Mom. 🙂
Aah thank you. I try x
Important topic to highlight. The TV drama Broadchurch, which has just concluded, dealt with the topic of adults grooming vulnerable youngsters in a couple of cases. It happened both times because the young person concerned had gone through family issues that weakened their support system.
Sadly, that seems to be one of the common factors in all abuse cases. That’s when families need to reach out to extended family and trusted neighbors, but again the abuser could be one of those people, too. I’m not sure what the answer is on that one.
You have to talk to your children about it so they will know that if someone approaches them they will know it is not their fault. Too many times it is a family member or close family friend. So sick and so damaging to our young who are so vulnerable.
I know. It makes me sad, but you’re right. Communication is the most important weapon we have against the abusers.
A hugely important topic. This is something I feel very strongly about and I have tutored workshops on keeping children safe in sport for around 14 years now. Still a lot of work to do but thankfully people are far more aware nowadays.
Yes. We’ve made great strides, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂