A Completely HAPPY Post
Hey All. Glad to see that you’re still with me (you’re still with me, right?) My blogging lately has definitely been skewed towards my deep-seated psychological problems rather than my knitting. Yeah. I know. You come here for the knitting.
Anyway, I wanted to talk just a little bit about child abuse today. First, I wanted to say that you should all go over and read some of the entries on the second blog carnival against child abuse here. Oh? What’s that? You weren’t abused as a child and so you don’t care to read about other’s experiences of abuse? Child abuse doesn’t affect your life? Really? Well, consider this: ridiculously large numbers of people in our society have been abused as children. Statistics are pretty meaningless, but, just for fun, consider these: one in five boys and one in four girls are victims of childhood sexual abuse. There are many, many people living with the scars of child abuse all around us. And even more depressingly, there are many, many children still living in abusive situations right now, as I’m writing these words. What does this mean? It means that even if you were not abused as a child, and your spouse wasn’t, and your mother wasn’t, you know someone that was, even if you don’t know that they were. (That made sense, right?)
And you know the scary thing about child abuse? We all like to think that it’s (scary looking) strangers hiding in bushes waiting to kidnap and abuse our children. In reality those cases represent a minuscule number of child abuse cases. In most instances of child abuse, it is someone that is known and trusted that perpetrates the abuse. Let me say that again because I want you all out there to hear me when I say this: THE PERSON MOST LIKELY TO ABUSE YOUR CHILD IS SOMEONE THAT YOU KNOW AND TRUST WITH YOUR CHILD. Did you hear me that time? I know that there are some people who are reading this that are thinking, Yeah, Yeah, I know that but it couldn’t happen to me. I would know if my child’s teacher/daycare provider/uncle/priest/pastor/father/brother/grandmother/old family friend, was abusing my child. I would know. There’s no way that someone as disgusting and despicable as a child abuser could possibly slip under my incredibly honed parent radar. Well you know what? We all think that. We all believe that. And yet, it is patently, demonstrably untrue. All you have to do is take a look at the child abuse scandal that is currently (still) rocking the catholic church. Do you think any of the parents whose children were abused by their priest at any time thought that it was even possible that their priest, their trusted religious advisor and confidant, was capable of molesting their child, of taking their precious, innocent baby into the back room and doing horrible, despicable, sadistic things to them? No, of course not.
So why am I talking about this? What does it matter to you? Well, if you have children, then it matters that you are aware that there is a risk to your child of abuse, and that you talk to your children about what to do if they are abused by someone. Even someone that you know and trust and like. It’s equally important that you yourself are prepared to hear from your child that they have been abused. All too often when victims tell, they are met with disbelief. If you don’t have children, then it’s important to understand that there are lots of people walking around out there still dealing with the unthinkable. Dealing with the thing that should never happen to anyone, that never should have happened to them. Maybe if we all make an effort to understand what being the victim of child abuse means, we can all spare a little compassion for those in our midst who are still dealing with it.