I recently learned that a parent in my community had their child sexually assaulted by two family members. The first thing that popped into my head was that poor little kid!  They were somewhere where they should be safe, at their family’s house and with people who they should be safe with, her family. Still the unthinkable happened to them.   The second thought was how can I protect my children from that ever happening to them?   I only leave my children with family members right now.  I have had the nobody can touch your private parts conversation with them and made sure that I repeat always tell mom if someone touches you even if they say not to tell.  I also trust my gut, if something does not feel right about a person, I will not have my children around them.

I can’t get this poor families experience out of my head!  If that happened to my child I am afraid I would have charges against me for retaliation.  I am sure the family has years of therapy ahead of them.  I imagine what just happened to that family, the relationship in that extended family has to be destroyed.  Most importantly I wanted to make other people think about how they can protect their own children from a similar incest experience happening to their children.

Here are a few things I have read as ways to protect your children.  Don’t leave your children with teenage boy babysitters because they are hormonal and impulsive.   Make sure you trust your children if they ever mention that someone touched them or hurt them, as kids don’t make this type of thing up. Watch for signs of sexual abuse, watch for backwards progress in potty training or bathroom issues in boys and girls, watch for urinary tract infections in girls.   If your children don’t want to be close to someone, don’t push them, let them trust their comfort zone and be in tune with your own comfort zone.  Teach your children to scream and yell if someone hurts them or does something inappropriate to them. Teach your children to kick and fight to get away. Teach your children they can tell people No stop it and that they should not ever submit to people who are doing things that make them uncomfortable. Parents need to advocate and protect their children.

I hope the unthinkable never happens to my children, and I hope this poor child’s experience can protect the unthinkable from happening to anyone who reads this.  Please trust your gut!