Sunday, June 16, 2019


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We Must Find a Way

            The stories present a horror that is beyond comprehension. 

            The abuse of children is something we must find a way to eliminate.  The goal is lofty, but how can we achieve it?

            From the Sandusky case at Penn State to the recent report issued by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapio on abuses in the Catholic Church - and all of the sickening stories before and in between, we must find a way.

            Pope Francis issued a statement where he wrote, "We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them." 

            Having the State Legislature open a two-year window to allow victims of past abuse to bring civil actions against the church and extending the statute of limitations for reporting abuse is a start.  That will address the past, but how do we stop it now?

            Author Natasha Daniels, who is also a child and teen therapist, shared "10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse."  They are: Talk about body parts early.  Name body parts and talk about them very early. Use proper names for body parts, or at least teach your child what the actual words are for their body parts.

            Teach them that some body parts are private. Tell your child that their private parts are called private because they are not for everyone to see...

            Teach your child body boundaries.  Tell your child matter-of-factly that no one should touch their private parts and that no one should ask them to touch somebody else's private parts.

            Tell your child that body secrets are not okay.  No matter what anyone tells them body secrets are not okay and they should always tell you if someone tries to make them keep a body secret.

            Tell your child that no one should take pictures of their private parts.  There is a whole sick world out there of pedophiles who love to take and trade pictures of naked children online.

            Teach your child how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations.  Tell them that it's okay to tell an adult they have to leave, if something that feels wrong is happening, and help give them words to get out of uncomfortable situations.

            Have a code word your children can use when they feel unsafe or want to be picked up.  Give them a code word that they can use when they are feeling unsafe.

            Tell your children they will never be in trouble if they tell you a body secret. This fear is often used by the perpetrator. Tell your child that no matter what happens, when they tell you anything about body safety or body secrets they will never get in trouble.

            Tell your child that a body touch might tickle or feel good.  Many parents and books talk about "good touch and bad touch," but this can be confusing because often these touches do not hurt or feel bad.

            Tell your child that these rules apply even with people they know and even with another child.  Not friends, not aunts or uncles, not teachers or coaches. Even if you like them or think they are in charge, they should still not touch your private parts."

            We must find a way to stop child sexual abuse.





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