The statistics for children being sexually abused are alarmingly high.
Millions of women across the world are sex slaves.
Sexual predators are present at work places, schools, and church.
Sexual abuse is the most insidious kind of evil, growing and thriving in the darkness of our own unawareness.
The damage done by sexual abuse is bloody and vicious, consuming one’s soul, sometimes leaving little life.
Predators have attacked me and my family. Were it not for God’s mercy we would not have survived.
These issues need to be talked about. If a crime like this can be prevented a lifetime of suffering can be stopped, the chances of being abused again can be minimized, and lives can be saved.
We let our guards down around people we know, but often those are the ones committing the abuse.
After all our family has been through I am paying attention. The price is too high not to.
I recognize no matter how much education, some abuse cannot be prevented…but to rescue even one person from the hands of an abuser, to protect one child from being abused is worth it.
When I was a little girl I was never able to rescue the wild, baby rabbits from the mouth of my cat in time to save their life. Their mother raised them every year in the grassy field beside our house. The family Tabby cat probably stalked the field for hours waiting for the perfect opportunity to catch it’s unsuspecting prey. Then POUNCE!
You might think rabbits are quiet. But when my cat got a hold of them their alarming squeak was heard thousands of feet away from my house.
I would get so mad at my cat and rush to the rescue the tiny brown rabbit. I’d wrap it in a towel and keep it a box hoping it’d survive, but after doing this with three rabbits I soon discovered once my cat got a hold of them it was usually too late.
I still can’t think of those sweet furry creatures, traumatized and bleeding from my cats torture without feeling deep sadness and compassion.
I love animals. I hate to see them suffer. And the images of those innocent rabbits in pain are stuck in my brain. I recognize that’s just the way of life in the animal kingdom and I don’t need to interfere, but I think something about those rabbits reminded me of my own pain and loss at the hands of a predator.
He followed me into the kitchen where I had been hoping to get another of his wife’s delicious tea cakes. We were at this cousins house with other out of state family, and I was so excited about the trip to Disney World the next day. I was wearing a brand new yellow shirt and white pants. He complemented me on how pretty I looked. He started asking me questions about school. The things I liked to do. The grades I made. I was starting to appreciate his interest in me when he drew in closer and started to talk lower. There was more flattery about my looks. I tried to back away, but he moved closer. The next thing I knew he was running his hand up my shirt and grabbing my breast, his other hand reached down in my pocket towards my crotch. I felt sick, but unlike the rabbit I didn’t scream. I managed to get away from him and walk in the den. I was good at pretending like everything was fine when it wasn’t.
Later, when we left his house I was the last behind my family. He came from behind and grabbed my butt. I felt like a piece of trash. A few months later he called our house. He was bragging on what a sweet young lady I was. He and his wife wanted me to come over and spend the night. There would be teacakes. I told my mom I didn’t want to go. I was only 13 at the time. I finally told my mom a year later after suffering from severe anxiety and coming home from school with stomach aches. Authorities were called in and my family decided not to press charges. I didn’t want to testify in court. My mother even admitted that this older man had made a pass at her when she was a teenager. I also found out later he’d abused one of my husband’s cousins. I should have pressed charges. But I didn’t want to bring attention to myself in our small town.
The shame from sexual abuse is crippling. Shame grows in the dark. Shame also gives the abuser the ability to keep on abusing. So much can be prevented just by talking about sexual abuse with those we care about. Shame dies in the light.
My daughter was five. She and her twin brother were playing hide and go seek with my 13 year old son and his 14 year old cousin. I got concerned when things got to quiet and went looking for my daughter. I discovered she’d been hiding in our storage shed with the 14 year old cousin. Though this young man had been at our house many times, and I’d known him since he came into the world, in my heart an alarm was going off. I asked my daughter what her and the cousin were doing in the building. She looked at me with eyes like that of an innocent suffering rabbit and said, “It’s OK, Momma, he takes care of me.”
It took all I could do to remain calm, but I knew it was important that I did for her. I asked her to tell me what they’d been doing. She described for me how he’d unzipped his pants and forced himself into her mouth. I was livid. The boy was never allowed around my daughter anymore, though he adamantly denied it happening. His father stood behind him declaring it didn’t happen either. It was the worst mistake we ever made not reporting the incident at that time. We were encouraged by our pastor it’d be OK not to. He said she’d probably forget. She did indeed forget, but remembered it when she was 12, as many child abuse victims do as their body begins to mature. Before the suppressed memories came out she couldn’t sleep, eat, and was suffering from psychosis. There were days I wondered if we’d lost her, but after two weeks in the hospital she is recovering slowly with counseling.
Though the incident was reported to the authorities and she gave her testimony about what happened, because the cousin was a child at the time the incident occurred and he was an adult when it was reported, nothing other than an investigation could be done. This predator is still on the loose.
If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, please report it right away.
I watched the movie Trust last night. This movie, based on actual events, is the story of a young girl falling prey to a predator on the internet. I highly recommend the film. I think it’d be excellent for your older children to watch if you aren’t offended by some language. It gives a clear picture of the tactics used by a predator to capture the innocent and abuse them.
The predator in this film uses the same tactic of acting concerned about his victim. Often flattering his victim by complementing their looks, abilities and intelligence. The 14 year old in the film was so swept away by her predator that even when she discovered he was in his mid 30’s rather than another teenager like he’d told her he was, she still believed they were meant for one another. He talked her into sex by declaring she was his soul mate and they shared a connection. I got so angry I thought I was going to throw something at the television.
Just because someone says they care about you doesn’t mean a thing. As a matter of fact when someone starts to pour on the flattery look out. A person’s actions determine if they really care… Not some puffed up words.
I’ve heard it all before. You are my soul mate. You are my heart. We share a connection. I will always love you.
He was hurting me and I didn’t even know it.
Proverbs 27:6 says, Faithful are the wounds of a friend; deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
Predators have an amazing ability to cause you to think they care. They tell us the things our souls long to hear. In their presence we feel special. Some will groom their victims for weeks. They are masters at their craft, having tremendous insight into their victims. They work hard to disguise themselves as concerned citizens. They are counting on you not being aware of their presence.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. C.S. Lewis
To find out the registered sex offenders in your area go here:
Common Characteristics of Sexual Predators:
- Refusal to take responsibility for actions and blames others or circumstances for failures
- A sense of entitlement
- Low self-esteem
- Need for power and control
- Lack of empathy
- Inability to form intimate relationships with adults
- History of abuse
- Troubled childhood
- Deviant sexual behavior and attitudes
From the book, Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators, by Dr. Leigh M. Baker.
Other Tips on Spotting a Sexual Predator:
- Often offend where they won’t get caught — when they have misdirected people’s attention
- Often married or in relationships
- Offend when the victim is handy
- Not always strangers, often family members, family friends and neighbors
- Most attracted to adults
- Good manipulators (seduction is an integral part)
- Overly self-indulgent
- Sexualize, objectify women
- Users of various kinds of pornography
- Typically known as rationalizers, intellectualizers, justifiers
- Great helpers — are there to lend a helping hand — prey on people in need, when they can insinuate themselves in your life
- Use stressful and vulnerable situations to get in — they find a need they can fill and they use that to get next to the victim
Common Attributes of Child Molesters:— from A Profile of the Child Molester
- Pedophiles are notoriously friendly, nice, kind, engaging and likeable.
- Pedophiles target their victims, often insinuating themselves into that child’s life through their family, school, house of worship, sports, and hobbies.
- Pedophiles are professional con artists and are experts at getting children and families to trust them.
- Pedophiles will smile at you, look you right in the eye and make you believe they are trustworthy.
Dr. Phil reminds parents they must watch everyone in their child’s life!