Many of us would like to do away with abuse, violence and sexual crimes but at times it can seem a daunting task. Sometimes I wonder, if its even possible to prevent the deviant, criminal and abusive things from happening.
I will say in the case of childhood sexual abuse such as incest, molestation, rape and assault, it is possible. There are preventative measures against abuse. I call it engaged and empowered living.
1. If your life involves children, I believe you should engage them. ~ Sitting your children in front of a television or in one activity after another without having a healthy, respectful relationship with them will set them up for failure. It’s one thing to be a parent, aunt, or authority figure over a child but its a whole other mature thing to have a respect relationship with them. Are you actually interested in your children? In their thoughts? In their worries or fears? Or are you just quick to shut them up, feed them and put them to bed. Do you love, honor and respect them at all cost?
2. Empower your children. ~ This manifest in many forms. It mainly involves allowing them the space to use their voice. It involves NOT belittling them or shaming them. It involves BELIEVING them and sticking up for them. Let your children explore the full range of their voice. Let them express themselves…even if you don’t like it. Should they be disrespectful or wrong, TEACH them.
3. Educate your children. ~ Teach your children about sex. In teaching them, don’t just teach them repression, consequences and disease. Teach them the beauty and wonder of sex in age appropriate manners. Teach your children everything. Not just about sex. Teach them about respect. Teach them about nature. Teach them about all religions and cultures and places. Spark their imagination with the boundless possibilities of the world in which we live. An informed child is an empowered child.
4. Talk WITH your children not TO them or AT them. ~ It’s self explanatory. The more you talk with your children openly, the more they will trust you and confide in you regarding anything. Talking AT your kids or TO your kids and hardly ever letting them use their voice without judgement or impatience on your end leads to detrimental issues later on.
5. Be active participants in your children’s lives. ~ Do you know all of your children’s teachers full names? Do you know their sunday school teacher’s credentials? Where did their soccer coach teach before they were on your daughter’s team? That youth seminar your son is going to, exactly who is the organization hosting it? Who’s your daughter’s best friend and what does that best friend’s father do for a living? Have you googled all the people in your children’s lives? Have you done criminal searches? Did you search their names in sexual registries? Have you taken a concerted effort to find out about everyone in your child’s life? Its a lot of work but being a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d say its worth it. Have you become recently engaged to someone? Well have you asked hard questions about your fiance’s family? Do you know my ex step father, Elder Daniel C. Young, teaches at seminars and workshops regarding sexuality to youth? I wonder if your children attend those? I wonder if you even knew that. And trust me, he’s not teaching from a stand point of, “I used to molest my daughter and now I’m better.” That’s not his angle. He doesn’t mention his past. But he wouldn’t. I wouldn’t expect a man who holds no responsibility for his crimes to do so. BUT–> It’s your duty as a caregiver of children to dig into the past of EVERYONE involved in your children’s life. I don’t call it “paranoia.” I call it being prepared, being informed, being mindful, being protective and being smart. How dare anyone have an argument against such a thing!
If you engage, empower and educate your children while respecting, listening and honoring them, you will find a vibrant child that isn’t weak or an easy prey. If you’ve taught your child to set their own boundaries, to speak up and use their voice, you will find it hard for anyone to take advantage of them. Your child will make smart decisions.
I’m not saying that this will prevent all the crime in the world but you’d see a sharp decline. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. Criminals find easy victims, silent victims, ashamed victims, lonely victims. Criminals find uninformed prey. They find weak points in security. They find the holes you never filled. They find your children walking with their heads down. They marry insecure people who never bothered to do a background check. They find repressed families who use religion as an excuse to allow deviant behaviors.
Teach your children to set their boundaries and standards.
Tteach them the vocabulary to express themselves.
Teach them to speak up and to share their thoughts.
By doing so, you will find it hard for anyone to take advantage of them.
And even if someone tried, your child would be empowered to seek out help.
This list isn’t exhaustive. It won’t stop all the crime in the world. You could very well be snatched off the street and harmed. I get that. However, if people knew how to fight back with their minds, their voice, their understanding and knowledege, they’d be less likely to become a victim.
Point is, an informed child is an empowered child.
Most criminals will skip over empowered children and find the weak ones that the parents didn’t have time to educate and empower. Say what you will but I know I’m speaking the truth.