Friday, August 05, 2005

MAD

I just read a statistic that floored me, 1 in 6 boys will be sexually molested by the time he is 18.
1 in 6!
Is your jaw hitting the floor yet?
This is totally unacceptable, but I feel like we are helpless against it. What can we do as Mothers, as parents to remedy this situation?
E and I talk about it often and it is one of my worst fears, I assume every parent's worst fear. I joke that my kids will not be allowed out of my sight until they are in college, but it is partly true. I doubt I will let them sleep over just anyone's house, or even go over after school. I doubt I will allow my kids to play with anyone without meeting and feeling comfortable about their parents, which will not be a small task.
Maybe people with children older then mine can help me out on this, do you interview the parents before you let your kids play at a friend's house? Do you question whether they have a gun in the house, if a relative is visiting that you do not know, if their are convicted sexual preditors in their neighborhood?

With all the interviews and watching my kids I know I will never fully be able to protect them, because they will not be by my side every second of the day, and that is what worries me.

What can we do as women, Mothers? We are raising these preditors, wife beaters and rapists, we defend them, we look the other way.
I will not.
What is it that makes it so prevelent these days, why do we have men snatching little girls out of their bedrooms at night, why are our teachers raping our sons?

I am truly scared. I have no answers. I vow not to let my son be the problem but maybe, just maybe, the answer.

8 comments:

  1. Statistically, molestations, rapes, kidnappings, etc. are actually LESS likely than they were 20 years ago. Now, that media is all over the place, we know about them and we hear about them over, and over, and over, and over... Also, kids are being encouraged to share these horrible experiences with an adult whereas when our parents were kids, the general idea was that it was best left unsaid.

    I am not a parent, but I do believe that a parent needs to know who their kids are hanging out with. There is some public service commercial that goes something like: when, where and who. It's great. It's also up to a parent to research sexual predators online. They have those databases. But to also remember that there are many freaks out there that either haven't struck yet or just haven't been caught. You always have to be on your toes and so do your kids.

    I am not sure that I understand parents who let their kids hang out at the homes of other adults: coaches, counselors, priests, moviestars. Unless it's your kid's friend's parent's house, there is no reason why an adult needs to have child-centric slumber parties. It's just creepy.

    Of course, it's also important to teach your child about strangers, not getting into cars with them, staying in groups when away from an adult, etc.

    At the end of the day, there is a lot a parent can do to prevent these things from happening to their kids, both environmental and taught. Of course, you can't live your life as if someone is going to get you, but being aware is key to staying safe.

    You're an excellent mother and I am sure that you will provide the most safe and loving environment for your kids and do your very best to keep them out of harm's way.

    Best,

    CCG

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  2. I am always leery of the statistics I read, mainly because they often use very broad definitions or make assumptions that are more based in an agenda than in fact.

    When a statistic seems very alarming to me I tend to discount it until I actually see their data sources and evaluate it for myself.

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  3. As a mom, I know just how you feel. I have a daughter and if I go back to work soon, she will be in daycare and I am TERRIFIED that something will happen to her.

    Personally, I think all we can do to fight is to teach our kids that they can tell us anything no matter what someone threatens them with; teach them what not to allow anyone to do to them; and teach them to be tough kids who will stand up for themselves. And of course we have to be vigilant in keeping an eye on all adults and teens that we leave our kids with. Surprise visits, researching these people, all that.

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  4. Back in the late 1970s I supervised social services in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. According to statistics, we have the second highest rate of sexual abuse in Kentucky. Back then the “guesstimate” on sexual abuse and molestation was one female in every 500 and one male in every 100,000. A few years later they were revised to one female in every 25 and one male in every 1,000. I see the stats are now more accurate—and upsetting!

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  5. Robyn9:46 PM

    I think you are right to be worried, as am I. But I wonder, of those children being molested, how many of them were molested by family members? This scares me the most because these are people you do trust, almost completely and would be more willing to let your child stay with them than say a friend of the family. This, to me, is the ultimate betrayal of trust, not just because as a parent you trusted them, but that child trusted them and would never have thought anything would be wrong because it was a relative. THAT makes me sick to my stomach.

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  6. 1 in 6, where did you come out with that stat? National Enquirer ?

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  7. I was just thinking the other day about how now that my dd is entering Kindergarten, the possibility of sleep overs will arise. I'm just not at the point where I'll let her go stay the night at someone's house yet! My kids are hardly ever out of my sight and when they are I'm paranoid.

    Sabrina

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  8. it's 1 in 4 for girls. and i have a girl.

    predators look for victims. a kid with a good relationship with a parent is not a good target. be there, like you are, and be vigilant, like you are. pay attention to your radar and you should be able to steer clear of bad situations without making your kid a paranoid freak!

    i'm getting the word out now that i would gladly go to jail for all things 'rio' so the implied threat is out there ;)

    seriously, i think we just have to know it won't happen and then make sure we do all we can...

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