Abuse Statistics Make Me Fear For My Children

penn state abuse protect kidsRight after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke Penn State wide open, I went on a trip to the grocery store and came face-to-face with our local sex offender. (He's kind of famous, which is how I was able to identify). I was somehow comforted by the fact that we can see our local guy coming, and still maintained that the likelihood of my children suffering the same fate as the children in Pennsylvania, and the thousands all over the world, was slim. Then I read the startling statistic that says one out of every four girls, and one out of every six boys will experience sexual abuse

This is where you gasp out loud and scare the dog. It's okay, I did. And then I panicked about how in the world I could prevent this from happening to my own precious family.


After all, I teach my children to communicate. They know about bad touch and good touch, private areas, and they both have such big mouths it's highly unlikely anything could cause them to not tell us if something (god forbid) were to happen. But one in four/six! I'm starting to understand my mother's seemingly irrational stance on where I was allowed to go and with whom.

Short of quitting my job, home schooling, and never letting these kids out of my sight -- ever -- I don't know what to do and these statistics make me really frightened. CNN has a list of how to keep your child safe, but should I really not trust my children's teachers, care givers, and anyone else who comes in contact with them? I can't imagine living like that, but I also can't imagine how the parents of those young boys under the "care" of Jerry Sandusky feel right now either.

I assume the people at my children's schools have to pass a criminal background check. I also assume the parents of my daughter's friends are good people, and as I've gotten to know them nothing tells me otherwise. Which is one of the ways to be safe: trust your instincts. If your instinct tells you someone is not right, trust that instinct even if it means being rude.

Which is incredibly difficult for most people. We'd rather be polite than safe. However, after taking in this information, I'm about to get rude. After all, what else can we do?

How do you protect your kids from the unthinkable?


Image via Lepti/Flickr

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