Monday, September 20, 2010

trauma proofing your kids

this is the meatiest, chewiest, hardest to fully digest book. it took me a year to get all the way through and now i'm starting over because there's so much i wanted to utilize and remember from the first few chapters (heck...the introduction!) that i don't recall. that being said, there is one chapter entitled "sexual violation: reducing the risk and early detection" that i think is so vital, so urgent, that i wanted to share it with you now.

(note: if you want to investigate the signs of a child who may be a victim see pages 136-37, i am going to concentrate on prevention)

i don't know about you, but i am overwhelmed by how many people i know who have been effected by sexual abuse. when i was little the "stranger" was what i feared. the man in the black trench coat who would swoop in while i was on the slide and take me from my mom and dad. turns out, that wasn't what i (or my parents) should've been on the look out for. there are so many hurting people (children and adults) who are looking to act out with a child and the results are devastating. i have seen the destruction of lives who have been scarred by sexual abuse. it is ugly and it is so very difficult to heal from. i want desperately to protect my children from this and i know you do too.

first we need to know who we are protecting them from, and the truth is, over 90% of the time (yes, NINETY) the perpetrator is someone you know. i don't want you to be scared of every person in your life, but if we are looking for the guy in the trench coat, we're going to miss the threat. this adds more injury because when the person is someone the child trusts it confuses them in more ways and adds a layer of betrayal.

unfortunately this issue is not limited to girls, or adolescents. we need to be preparing our children early as they are vulnerable already. and by "preparing", i do not mean we fill them in on all of the ugliness and perversion of the world. there are things we can do, say, and discuss that will give our children a much greater chance at not being victims without stealing their innocence.

there is so much in this chapter and i highly recommend you read it all for yourself, but i am going to summarize one of the five "steps caregivers can take to decrease children's susceptibility" each day this week to give you a good overview of the chapter and active ways you can protect your kids.


Tonya said...

This is one of my biggest fears as a parent, and it's a tough and taboo subject, so thanks for bringing it to attention! The statistics are alarming; 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are molested before th age of 18. I personally was abused by a member of my family, and my mother was abused by a member of her family and I am darn sure well going to break that cycle before my daughter follows in our footsteps! But I personally know so many people who were abused as children and it breaks my heart to know it is so prevelant. :( Knowledge is a powerful thing.

C and G said...

Fantastic book! I picked it up about a year ago. It will be good to hear your summaries!