I was halfway through my presentation about child sexual abuse. Stopping for a moment to glance around the room, I had asked if anyone had questions.
When participants feel uncomfortable with this material it means they’ve reached the end of their tolerance level and slipped into denial. Denial is a normal reaction. But it’s important to recognize it for what it is.
I had just finished describing how abusers groom the families and children they’re targeting for abuse. In my case, I was sexually abused when I was four years old. The abuse continued until I was a teenager. My personal story isn’t easy for most to hear. But if participants are willing to stay calm and remain positive, they’ll learn valuable information.
“Can you tell me more about why you’re upset?” I asked the man.
“I’m uncomfortable because you’re making me think I shouldn’t trust the people closest to me,” he replied. “Now I’ll have to explain to them I’ve got different rules for how I want them to interact with my children.”
“How do you feel about that?” I asked.
“I’m not sure what to think,” he responded. “But I’m upset because I may have to ruffle some feathers to keep my kids safe.”
I’m always grateful when someone is courageous enough to be honest in front of a group. I told him he was creating a learning moment for everyone in the room. The nodding of heads affirmed that.
Too many children are being abused because of a lack of information. Yes, it’s scary to realize we may not be able to trust friends or family. Of course, we want to deny it. But you can’t. Your kids are depending on you to protect them.
Parents need to talk to their kids about child sexual abuse. They won’t talk to you about it. Actually, they don’t know how. I was so young when it started I had no idea how to describe the abuse. By the time I could, I was too ashamed to tell anyone what was being done to me.
Talk to your kids. You love them more than anything. Learning how to protect them from sexual abuse is just another facet of that love.
Were you sexually abused as a child? Is your life stuck as an adult, and you can’t seem to move forward? I offer private coaching sessions by phone or skype ($55.00 per hour) for child sexual abuse survivors just like you. To set up an appointment, call 619-889-6366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today. Take the time to invest in yourself. You’re worth it!
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