Preventing Sexual Abuse

The session hosted by Lisa Cherry, was perhaps, one of the 2 most important sessions I may have attended at the Southeastern Homeschool Expo. I recommend you purchase “Unmask the Predators“.

Here are some of the highlights from her talk:

Abuse is any contact or interaction (psychological, visual or verbal) that imposes harm on another person, against their will.

90% of the time, the abuser is already in the child’s life. 75% of victims are silent even after 1 year, and 45% are still silent even after 5 years of abuse. The soul ‘goes in hiding from itself’. Only 3% of predators get jail time for their crime. 80% of americans have viewed pornography last week.

  • Abuse can happen in any family
    • Predators are attracted to innocence
    • Problems occur when we are distracted

An abuser will lie to him- or herself, and to you. He or she will ‘groom’ the victim like a frog in hot water. Grooming is a subtle psychological process that conditions the victim not to talk by moving boundary lines slowly, and then threatening the victim into silence, even into believing the abuse is the victim’s fault.

Inside the Home

  • Maintain a close relationship with your children
    • Maintain humor
    • Forgive your children
    • Make home a place your kids want to be
    • Express affection and physical touch
      • Be the first to compliment your children and encourage your children in their appearance and other areas
    • Allow stylistic expression and modern dressing within guidelines – “Climb into the rink of identity formation with your child”
  • Demonstrate marital excitement – show the model of appropriate affection
    • Be romantic sweethearts with your spouse
    • Be excited for weekend getaways and date nights with your spouse
  • Train your children
    • Train for obedience – kids may not always understand your decisions… that’s okay. They should give you honor and obedience, or be ‘demoted to the point where you can guarantee their safety’
    • Use a dating and courtship model
      • Let your children know how to guard and maintain their purity
    • Decode the role models of pop culture, and in the materials and literature your children read, see, and hear about – discuss these people with your children
    • Watch your children’s friends
      • Create a sleepover policy
    • Monitor cell phones, internet – you can use Covenant Eyes to help you
    • Look up developmental charts for each of your children’s ages and look for developmental vulnerabilities for each child
      • Talk to your children about these and how to identify and respond to people who might be trying to take advantage of them – what would a ‘bad person say?’ and ‘how would you respond’
      • Teach children to confidently respond (ex: I tell my mom and dad everything’)
      • Teach children to ‘always tell you or someone else if someone is acting weird or bothering you’
      • Explain good and bad touch, and sex education using correct names for body parts
    • Kids lack experience even if they are mature for their age.
    • Teach your children the tricky nature of deception and spiritual principles (ex: fall of Sampson, Potifer’s wife and Joseph, Sodom and Gomorrah, Proverbs, occurrences of rape in the Bible, fornication, any examples of sexual deviance in the Bible)
    • Unmask the predatory forces by using the Bible’s stories, and continue unmasking the work of the enemy in news feeds. Don’t bury issues under the rug. Discuss them so you can equip your child.
  • Maintain spiritual alertness
    • Pray scriptures, intercession, loosing and binding, praise
    • Stay in the “Word” – read your B-I-B-L-E
    • Ask “Who is holding my child’s heart”, whose name do they mention, who are they trying to impress?

Outside the Home

  • Watch church safety
    • Investigate, prescreen, ask questions
  • Know your legal rights, contraceptives, medical privacy for minors, reporting laws for health professionals, counselors, teachers, clergy and workers with children
  • Put everyone on your ‘watch list’
  • Enlist family and friends to help you ‘watch’ and make observations about the people around them
  • Limit one-on-one time with adults

Homeschoolers are vulnerable

  • kids are comfortable with adults
  • kids are mature so we tend to trust them more
  • kids lack experience with predators – they would have learned this in public school
  • kids want affirmation from the outside world but they need to know someone could view them as conquest

To start the conversation with your young kids, buy “The Swimsuit Lesson