The child caught in a predator’s grasp or the adult dealing with the lifelong effects of being caught in a predator’s hands asks the same haunting question, “Why didn’t someone tell me.”
I invited a friend to visit my website and her instant response was, ” I really want to visit it but I find it too disturbing and overwhelming to look at the subject.” She has two children she is bringing up alone.
I understand her reaction because its the last thing any of us want to open our hearts and minds to.
We accept that child sex abuse is “out there” and we ignore the fact that our children are “out there” the moment we let them out the front door. We ignore the fact that sex predators are “out there” and refuse to open our minds to the fact they are most likely to be already ‘inside’ the home or already in an established relationship with the child.
Somehow we think this is something that happens to others but not to us. Like death, we see others die but don’t consider our own deaths because it happens to other people. Our self preservation ignores the fact that whilst the ‘nasties of life’ are all around us, it excludes us.
Why don’t we teach our children about ‘grooming’ of sex predators?
Why don’t we teach them along the same veins as teaching them about the dangers of electricity, swimming, crossing a road and stranger danger?
We don’t teach them because child sexual abuse is surrounded with so much ambiguity.
We don’t teach them because we are afraid we will scare them or taint them somehow.
We don’t teach them because we are afraid of making them suspicious of everyone.
Yet we only need to teach them about good/bad secrets, good/bad gifts, good bad tricks and coercions and they are 90% safer.
Most ‘grooming’ takes place from those already within a child’s life and therefore a child should be taught to recognise ‘grooming behaviours.’
A simple mindset change can make all the difference to blocking a sex predator’s entry into a child’s life. It is so simple we miss it.
How do abusers control children?
“I look for a child who seems to be lonely or sad or looking for attention. Then I take my time gaining her trust and becoming her friend. In time she will do anything I ask.”
quote from an abuser
Or we can close our eyes to truth and as Katy Kangaroo said to Horton in Horton Hears a Who, “If you can’t see, hear, or feel something it doesn’t exist.”
The sex predator knows it exists, the targeted child knows it exists, the survivor knows it exists……and still we do nothing because it is something that happens to other people.