Child Sexual Abuse – Anybody Listening?
I was 13 when I was molested for the first time. The perpetrator was NOT a stranger, nor an uneducated goon. He was my language teacher and he enjoyed fondling me whenever I was unlucky enough to be alone in the classroom with him. And mind you, it was the time when I was just becoming aware of a phenomenon called Child Sexual Abuse. And no, my parents weren’t the ones to enlighten me; I read about it in a women’s magazine lying around at home. I knew he was doing something wrong to me, but I didn’t know whom to tell. When another girl confided in me and my friend that this particular teacher was touching her inappropriately, we finally went to the senior teachers and complained. And what happened? We were blamed for the incident because of our short tunics! And this so-called short tunic was the regulation school uniform cut to the stipulated length! And the only bare flesh visible was the small patch of skin just below the knees which the uniform socks could not cover. Let me ask you all a question. What sort of a man gets aroused by the body of a 13-year-old kid?
If what happened to me wasn’t bad enough, how about this? A 6-year-old girl in the same school was sexually abused by another male teacher and what’s more, he threatened to harm the child further if she told anyone. Her mother discovered evidence of abuse on the child’s body quite by accident. When questioned, the child broke down and told the whole story to her parents. When confronted, the school authorities first claimed that the child was exaggerating. Please tell me how a 6-year-old could possibly “exaggerate” about something when she doesn’t have the foggiest idea what it is, just that it’s something wrong?
These aren’t isolated incidents that we can ignore. We cannot pretend it didn’t happen or it’s something that only happens to someone else, never us. That’s not how reality works. Please be honest and tell me how many of you have had unmolested childhoods. Please be honest with yourselves while answering this question. I’m betting that nearly everyone reading this must have undergone some form of molestation. And I can also bet that in 9 cases out of 10, the perpetrator was someone known to us.
So why don’t all of us take an oath to protect our kids from this menace? First off, PLEASE BELIEVE THE KIDS! We must give them the confidence of coming to us when they are facing trouble.
Simultaneously, today’s kids need to be taught the difference between good touch and bad touch and how to recognize bad touch. And remember, kids WILL NOT lie about something they are barely aware of. Yes, they may embellish things a bit, but they will not lie. Please remember that. And finally, STAND UP FOR YOUR KIDS. They have come to you because they trust you. Do not attempt to protect the perpetrator, even if he is your own husband, (ESPECIALLY HIM. DO NOT LET HIM GET AWAY WITH IT IF HE HAS HARMED YOUR CHILD IN ANY WAY).
Remember, our children have nowhere to turn but us. Let’s not ridicule them when they come to us. Instead, let’s believe them and ensure that the culprit(s) gets punished in some way. Let’s join hands to protect our kids. After all, it’s a mother’s duty to protect her child’s innocence, isn’t it? Please watch this video, its a must watch for you and for your kids. Stop feeling shy about sexual abuse, you learn first and then educate your child about how to face this problem.