My younger cousin Jana has always been fiercely protective of her children, Aaron and Temperance. This past spring when she gave birth to her daughter I remember her telling me, “Temperance will not be allowed to spend the night away from home for her first few years of life.” I snickered at her but instead of cracking a smile she remained stone-faced. “I’m serious. I’m not letting my baby stay away until she can talk. She needs to be able to talk to me, tell me if somebody has hurt her. I wouldn’t let Aaron stay away and I won’t be letting her stay away either. The world is crazy.” I thought it was admirable that she was taking such a stance, but I also thought she was overreacting a bit. Who was really about to mess with her children? She’d better be looking out for the strangers at the park getting ahold of her children!
I thought like that until last week when I linked up with my cousins. It was during our random discussions that Shelby mentioned her recent research regarding child molestation. The subject really struck a chord with her because of how prevalent it is yet still isn’t widely discussed. She started rattling off some of the facts such as…
- two out of every ten little girls is a victim of child molestation
- one out of every ten little boys is a victim of child molestation
- most children are abused by a family member or close family friend
- “stranger danger” is the minority and is actually quite rare
That information made me sick. Two out of ten little girls means that there are women in my circles, heck my closer circles, who have had to deal with this. Molestation isn’t this distant, foreign concept that I can completely disassociate myself with. Shelby said the main way to combat it is through discussions with the people in our close circles, as our close circles are where molestation is happening unfortunately. She sent me this information that further outlines a prevention plan that everyone can participate in to do their own part in helping to bring awareness to this societal issue.
It is my hope that after reviewing this information you are able to share it among your own circles, pay it forward if you will. We must protect our children as they are unable to protect themselves.