This is a heavy topic for me, I am imagining who will be reading this and what they may think of me afterwards, but I think that it's important to unsilence the violence. I believe that one of the reasons children are being sexually abused is because we are so damned quiet about it and what it does to us as adults years later.
I was listening to CBC radio and I heard:
Like my stomach's being squeezed up, out of my throat,
That was all,
I hit the power button.
I knew that feeling immediately
I knew when it came
When it comes
Sometimes before I do,
Sometimes I gag so hard
I stumble to the bathroom.
Wishing that I could throw it up
Throw it out
Flush it down
And it would never come back up again.
You know what the worst part is?
The first is never the last.
Time or person.
Though for the purpose and pain
They will become He.
I can't be tickled, grabbed, pinned, playfully
I wrench my body away in anger
Growl and snap
Don't Do That.
Because now I have a voice.
I didn't always
Because once He hid behind
A playful mask
But if I looked just so into the eye holes
A creepy cold feeling would wash over me
And the whole world was drowned out by sick silence
He would shush me when I tried to talk
He liked the silence,
He liked the creeks and groans of the mattress.
He didn't like me.
He still breaths in my ear
He lets his hand rest against my thigh in the bus
He grabs my ass in the bar
He hides under my bed waiting for intimate moments
Then replaces my lover
For an eye blink.
I suppose this is where I pretend like I'm healing,
Like it gets better or easier...
I think we live in a society that sets kids up to be victims of sexual assault. We tell them that "so and so will feel bad if they don't give them a hug goodbye". We expect them to sit on a strange bearded man's lap once a year because he gives them gifts. "Why don't you want to sit on Santa's lap? He brings you presents, you don't want to be ungrateful do you?" Pedophiles thrive off this mentality using a barrage of guilt and gifts to convince children to let them touch them. We make our kids ripe for the picking. Shame is another child silencing tactic, we teach our children not to talk about sex, that it is private and or dirty. We do not take the time to explain that physical love is nothing to be ashamed of, and that if they ever want to talk about it they are welcome to. Pedophiles tell children that their parents will be mad at them for doing "dirty things", so they better not tell them.
So how do we "pedophile proof" our kids? We make it harder for the pedophiles to use guilt, gifts and shame to get physical affection.
1.Teach your children "No." I don't mean "if a stranger..." , I mean "No."
I mean if they don't want to kiss aunt Lucy and they say "No." You respect that, you teach them that NO ONE, no matter who, has the right to force physical affection on them.
2.Teach them that they don't have to sit on Santa's (Grampa's, Aunty's, Uncle's etc.) lap just because s/he gives them presents.
3. Don't force your own affection on them, if they don't want a hug or a kiss at that time, show them you respect their physical boundaries.
4. Talk to them about sex, about making love. Explain that there is no shame in having or wanting sex. Though, sexual touching should never be forced on or expected of anyone. Let them know that they should feel free to talk about sex and ask any questions they may have about it.
In return they will learn self-respect and they will also learn that if someone says "No.", they should respect that. They will learn that they should not force physical affection on anyone, and that they do not deserve affection from someone because they gave them gifts.
This is not an easy thing to do. Trust me, I've offended many people. I probably just offended someone right now. But if I can spare my child the confusion of "Was this my fault?" and "Aren't I suppose to like being touched by someone who loves me?" If I can give them a voice, a voice I was too unsure to use myself. Then it is worth every scathing look and sneer I've ever gotten.