So truly, no judgement - but hopefully more people will understand why it's dangerous to think this way and counter-productive to protecting children.
1. "I only trust family with my children"
2. "I would kill anyone that hurt my child"
Also shocking - as many as 40% of abusers are estimated to be children themselves - and we're not talking about two children "playing doctor" - we're talking intentional sexual abuse perpetrated by a child that is generally 3 years or older and/or a stronger or more dominant child. Siblings/cousins, peers, neighborhood kids - sorry, but you can't count them out - far from it. So while we totally understand that you want to hurt anyone that would abuse your child - just prepare yourself that if, God forbid, it did happen - you might not feel that way and if you do feel that way, other people probably won't - which then tears apart families, communities etc - it's a mess.
3. "I talk to my daughter about this all the time"
Want more statistical info? Click here.
4. "I know my child would tell me if someone tried to touch them"
Additionally, we would also ask that you not put responsibility on your children for their own safety. Parents will often think that because their child took part in a 45 minute body safety lesson in class that they're all set. Far from it. Empowering children is only a small part to protecting them, and there is actually a lot more that adults need to know. Learning how abusers function is a good start - check it out here.
5. This is why we are so glad we live in a "nice" town.
Sexual abuse, however, doesn't discriminate. It's not a "poor man's" crime - it's a controlling, insidious, often well-calculated & executed form of abuse that no demographic is spared from. You may hear about it less in "nice" towns because words like "incest" and "molestation" are probably cause for social exile. They're not pretty words. Most often - the most rampant predators are often well-educated, well-mannered, and well-respected members of the most elite societies. In some ways, you might say, that the higher-class communities have higher-class predators - harder to detect and prosecute than the run-of-the-mill abuser you probably hear about in the news.
6. "thank god no one I know has been abused"
The truth is, we all most likely know someone who has been abused as a child - we just don't realize it. It's not really the hip thing to come out. Sometimes they muster up the courage to do so and then get insensitive, thoughtless comments like "why didn't you tell anyone?" "is that why you're gay" "I wish you hadn't told me that." And more often than we'd like to admit, there is generally someone who assumes the person must have "wanted it" or that they're lying.
Child sexual abuse is coined a "silent epidemic" because it affects millions of people every year but the world continues to turn a blind eye and, for the most part, pretend it's not happening or couldn't happen to anyone they know or love. People "protect" themselves and their children by avoiding the issue, and it only continues the threat. Abuse thrives when people don't learn, don't talk, and don't take necessary action to protect children. Make sure you're part of the solution by educating yourself, your children, and your community - here's a great place to start.