We know this is a difficult time as a parent. We and our children have been pushed out of our usual comfortable lives, and in many cases way out of our comfort zones, abruptly and in heart-wrenching, challenging ways.
It likely seems overwhelming to think about child sexual abuse during a global pandemic. Why add one more scary topic to the others you are already doing your best to explain to your children?
Because difficult, scary, unfamiliar conversations are at the heart of what we do as parents. Stepping into them is how we, and our relationships with our children, grow. Not all at once. Not every topic at the same time. Not by pushing ourselves or our children into a place of overwhelm and panic. But also not by hiding in fear or running away. No, we grow awkwardly, imperfectly, step by step, one comment, one question, one conversation at a time.
Because even during a pandemic, unfortunately especially during times of crisis, children will be sexually abused by community helpers, family members, siblings, and peers.
When we step outside of what is familiar and comfortable, that is when we learn. We learn when we are able to settle into the dis-comfort and realize that, for the moment, we are safe, even if our feelings are amped up. We can breathe and look around with curiosity. We see opportunities that we might have missed otherwise.
Right now, in the midst of everything else — yes, right there with all the rest of your other fears– I am asking you to simply take a few of the small steps to reduce the risk of children you know being sexually abused.
You can do this, and you are not alone. There are other parents and community members who are working to protect our children with you. We will do what we need to do to keep our children as safe as we can from the COVID virus and from child sexual abuse.
Take 5 minutes right now. Watch this 4 minute video from Child Safety Pledge. Commit to learning and doing more to protect your children. Then, congratulate yourself: you’ve taken the first step!
Want to know more? Feel free to call us at (660) 359-2874 for resources in your community. And as always, please call the Child Abuse Hotline if you suspect or know of any kind of child abuse that is happening and for more information regarding statistics please go to inhope.org.