PARENTS: Talk and listen to children! I recommend that every parent watch the documentary, “Athlete A” (on Netflix) which is a wakeup call for adults! This documentary tells us how children are used and abused by sexual predators and why men in control do little to stop it.
In “Athlete A,” Dr. Larry Nassar, an osteopathic physician sexually assaulted at least 265 young girls from 1992 to 2016. His victims included young girls on the US women’s national gymnastics team. Several girls reported him, but he was protected by Steve Penny, former president of USA Gymnastics and others. They failed to report his behavior to local authorities because it would be bad publicity of US gymnastics. Sexual assault by authority figures in all too common as predators are moved from one location to another. We saw this same behavior in the Catholic Church when priests were moved to a different parish. Again, men in charge demonstrated little or no concern for children.
Parents and other adults need to do a better job of educating children about sexual abuse. Some concerned parents were told to keep quiet because they would threaten an investigation. That was a RED flag to keep them quiet.
What can parents do? Talk and listen to children to stop sexual abuse.
Talk to children as young as four or five that no one touches their private area, which is covered by their bathing suit. Do not alarm young children but let them know this is important information just like using the bathroom is private. Use real words for body parts.
- Encourage children to use their instincts. If they don’t feel safe, say NO, GO, Yell and Tell a trusted adult.
- To improve communication with children, consider a Listening Chair. Place a chair in your family room or kitchen. If a child has any concern or problem, when he or she sits in the chair everyone must stop and listen. Children can share any problems and siblings can settle arguments. No child should go to bed with secrets, anger or fear.
- Know the signs of abuse and report suspected abuse or neglect.
- Monitor your child’s computer and internet viewing. The AVERAGE age of a child exposed to porn is only eleven.
- Get involved at school and promote sex abuse education for parents.
- For more information, National Hot Line for child abuse – Call, 1-800-4 A Child or 1-800-422-44531-800-CHILDREN