Darkness to Light: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse is an Adult Responsibility by Kimberly Rhem
By Kimberly Rhem, www.D2L.org
Darkness to Light believes that adults should be taking proactive steps to protect children from this significant risk. It is unrealistic to think that a young child can take responsibility for fending off sexual advances by an adult. Adults are responsible for the safety of children. Adults are the ones who need to prevent, recognize and ...react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Yet, the statistics clearly show that adults aren’t shouldering this responsibility.
Darkness to Light believes that adults just don’t know how. Read the 7 Steps to Protecting Our Children, A Guide for Responsible Adults. Think About It! It is unrealistic to expect a six-year old to fend off sexual advances from an adult relative. A six-year old cannot recognize sexual advances for what they are, and a six-year old has been taught to “mind” adults who are authority figures. It is impractical to think that a six-year old can or even should protect himself in this situation.
Adults are Responsible for the Safety of Children! We strap children into car seats, we walk children across busy streets and we ask our teenagers questions about where they are going and who they will be with, all to keep them safe. Adults should also be responsible for protecting children from sexual abuse.
Why don’t adults do a better job? Child abuse statistics show that adults do not adequately protect children from child sexual abuse. There are a lot of reasons why, but the main reason is that THEY DON’T KNOW HOW!!!
Research suggests that adults are unaware of effective steps they can take to protect their children from sexual abuse. Most do not know how to recognize signs of sexual abuse and many do not know what to do when sexual abuse is discovered.
There are several well-known and successful programs that teach children self-protection skills and techniques, as age-appropriate. These programs also teach children about physical boundaries and about discerning types of touch. These programs are valuable to children. The skills learned by children in these programs have thwarted some abductions and sexual assaults. However, we must not fall into a trap of thinking that these skills are the only protection children need.
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PHOTO TAKEN BY: SMOOTHFLICKS PHOTOGRAPHY ( KEVIN TOBIN & WALTER CROMARTIE)