I see so much misguided fear around abuse of children. Talk of sex trafficking, kidnapping and abductions by strangers run rampant on the news, on the internet & in family circles.
These views show me that we haven’t learned much as a society about the realities of childhood sexual abuse. At all.
Yes, these things happen, but honestly very rarely in comparison to children who are hurt, endangered and kidnapped by someone known to them.
Additionally, while focus has been on child exploitation and sexual abuse at a global, I cannot stop expressing the importance of having conversations within our very own families.
Conversations of actions.
Conversations of awareness.
Conversations of safety.
Conversations of protection.
Conversations of transparency.
Conversations of accountability.
Conversations of consequences.
Conversations of support.
Kids grow into adults and are often left to tackIe the effects of trauma on their own. When someone comes out, stop asking them why they waited. Or, call them a liar. Or, say they are crazy. Or, treat them like they are the abuser. Or, keep them ostracized as the outcast. These familial defense mechanisms only continue to add to the trauma and abuse.
We need to create a culture within our families where our children – and children turned adults – don’t feel so voiceless and unprotected when confiding in their truth.
It’s never too late to have these difficult conversations. Please have them.