There are monsters who hide among us everyday. These monsters prey on your kids and you may not even know it. Unfortunately, these monsters wear masks so it may be hard for you as parents to identify them.
These monsters may be in your family or may be close friends of your family. These perpetrators commit one of the most heinous acts one can inflect on an innocent child, sexual molestation.
This is an uncomfortable topic for many to discuss, but it must be addressed nonetheless.
According to notwithoutmychild.org,1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually molested before their 18th birthday. To get a better understanding of this, I want you to think of 3 females that you currently know.
It is a strong possibility that one of those females may have been sexually molested. Do the same for 6 males that you currently know. One of them may have been molested as well.
Did you know that the average age of a child being molested is 9 years old. Unfortunately if your child is molested, there is a 95% chance it was done by someone you know, not a stranger.
With statistics like this, education is the key to combating this epidemic. Below are some tips that you can use to keep your child safe.
- Teach your kids the proper names for body parts, especially the private areas. This can be done as early as 18 months. Avoid cute made up names for their private parts.
- Talk to them about inappropriate touching. Emphasize that it includes everyone, even family members.
- Be cautious with sleepovers. Even if you trust the parents of your child’s friend, question who else lives in the house or visits frequently. Make sure that you have spent enough time at that house before you let your child spend the night.
- Teach your child early not to keep any secrets from you. Drill this into their heads early. Many abusers will tell kids to keep the act a secret.
- Scrutinize any activity that involves your child being alone with an individual (tutoring, babysitting, etc..). If it must be done, request a background check.
- Be cautious of individuals who give your child special attention, gifts, constant physical affection, etc. Sexual molesters often try to groom kids before they abuse them.
The most important thing is to go with your instincts. If something does not feel right about your child’s interaction with an individual, family members included, investigate it further.
If someone is sexually abusing your child, they may be afraid to tell you. It is your job to protect your child. Monitor changes in their behavior, or their reluctance to be around certain people.
Remember, if your child discloses that they are being sexually abused, believe them. You would be amazed at how many people disclosed that they were being sexually molested to their parents and they did not believe them.
Talk to your kids about this topic. Remember that the monsters committing these acts could be in your inner circle. Pay attention!
If you are an adult now and are still dealing with the issues of being sexually molested as a child, do not be afraid to seek out counseling. Also, talking to a trusted friend may help as well.
For more information on dealing with sexual molestation, check out my new book titled Overcoming Adversity. It is filled with great tips on how to overcome the adversity of sexual molestation as well as the stories of several women who were sexual molested but did not let it stop them from living their life to the fullest.
Remember this, what was done to you does not define who you are!