We got a lot of good responses to the email sent out last week on the subject of preventing child sexual abuse among our children. (Read that original article here.) I thought you would like to read some of those responses.
-One Mom forwarded our email on to a family member, a probation officer (God bless them all – they need it!) who supervises sex offenders in one of the West’s largest cities. He responded, "Please let Pastor Dale know that this is a very accurate and well written article. I have seen too many times that Christians are far too trusting and have a hard time seeing the evil in this world. I especially like the part about talking to your children about their private parts and what is off limits. Confident and well informed children are rarely victimized. One thing about child molesters is that they are cowards and prey on the vulnerable. Thank you for sharing this."
-One caring Dad wrote, “Three years ago I got back in to Scouting. It is different now. No adult ever does anything one-on-one with a youth; never, nada, no way. .. When I think back to the 1960s and 1970s to my days as a youth, I remember kids and grown-ups whose behavior I now question. Probably the only reason I was left alone was, they had all seen or met my Dad, and he scared the h*** out of them. .. I mourn for the many boys in [my area] who had no protection, no coverage like I did. Some dads were absentee, some drunk, some just careless.”
-We heard from another person in law enforcement (God bless them!) who deals with this kind of thing on a too-regular basis. This person felt that they have come face to face with “true evil,” but is thankful that God will sort things out. “I am very grateful that you continue to remind the congregation about this topic.”
-One concerned Dad wrote, “I was in the car with [my son] the other day and on the radio they had an ad about the statistics on the number of kids molested by the time they are 18, and we discussed why we have not let our children spend the night at many people’s houses and why we appear to be so strict and he said he was glad he was in the category of not having been touched. Thank God!”
-A grateful Mom wrote to commend her church, and the lengths to which it goes to treat her child, who has a profound disability, with great care and with high regard for this child’s safety. This is hugely important to parents of children with disabilities since they are abused at much higher rates than typical children.
-This came from a young Mom: “You said, "let grandma tickle"… I know the evidence shows that it is mostly men who are convicted of sexual and physical child abuse. Yet, women are, as we know, sexual sinners also. Our culture emphasizes their tendency towards adultery and prostitution. Yet, I think that women are more than capable of other perverse sexual sins. I know of some first hand cases where it has been mothers (and grandmothers) who are child molesters. They touch inappropriately and kiss inappropriately. They "pet" while putting to bed. IN general, yes, men have the bigger sexual sin issues (I think). However, not all grandmothers, or aunts, or mothers are safe. I think that sexual abuse by a mother or grandmother is even less likely to be reported. Who would tell on dear ole mom, the one we should trust most? And sweet grandmother, whose warm embraces are so dear… yet?? It does indeed happen. And I just wanted to put a word in here…in case you ever have to deal with this one on one. And.. parents should be aware of this too. Because, as we know, women are sinners… big ones… too. I think with our culture being more and more degraded, and sexual roles being more and more confused, and morality in general tanking to the depths of hell, well, watch out for women too.
-Finally, another wise Mom wrote to remind us of this, an oft-recurring theme in my own experience with parishioners as a Pastor: “Thanks for the article. I think I may have mentioned this before, but another warning is never never never have a boy babysit your children. Many years ago a young man I was dating confessed to me that he had molested a baby he was watching. I don’t know if he had been into porn, I knew him quite well and never saw any evidence of it. He was also one of the nicest people I have ever known. But he was put in a tempting situation as a young teen and he fell. He wept and wept, it had happened almost ten years before, and he was consumed with guilt. I did not know the Lord at the time and so had nothing to offer him beyond my friendship. It’s my conviction that having a teen boy watch your child is dangerous to your children and to him. I keep running across people who do this, so I think it’s worth mentioning.”
Good counsel: with so many doting young girl babysitters out there, why would you tempt a young man in a situation where experience shows they have an exponentially higher probability of getting into trouble?
Thanks to all of you who wrote in. Good counsel, all.