This is not an easy topic to talk about. But it’s an important one that has been sitting on my heart for weeks. Similar to ensuring that your kids are safely transported in car seats, it is our responsibility as mothers to ensure that we are protecting our children. In fact, that should be our number one concern.
I’m not talking about protecting them from falling, or failing or things that they should experience in their lives – those things build character and are a necessary part of their lives. I’m talking about things that a child should NEVER experience, like not ever, ever!
I have been witnessing so many, too many terrible stories in the news. Disgusting, disturbing stories of children who have been raped and abused. Stories that leave me sick to my stomach and contemplating how I can hunt them down and castrate them without getting caught.
This epidemic is unacceptable.
As mothers we need to ensure that we are protecting our children. It’s beyond sad that we are finding ourselves in a World that is drenched with this pandemic. The fact that we even have to worry about this kind of thing is beyond comprehension. But it’s a real life problem and something that we should not be sugar coating or shoving under the couch to deal with another day.
You can never be too careful. No really. You can’t.
Thankfully we have never had to experience the trauma of this experience personally but I am keeping myself clued up as to the factors to look out for. I think that it’s imperative to know, especially if you are not with your children 24 hours a day – we decide to trust care givers/schools/family/friends to care for and protect our children while we are not there. You can do as much research as you like but the sad fact is that you just never know for sure.
Here are some key indicators to look out for in your own children or if you are a care giver, something to look out for in the children in your care:
- If your child doesn’t want to bath or get undressed (and not just in the usual naughty way)
- If you see blood in their urine or poo
- If they are terribly aggressive
- If they display too much knowledge of sex or is overly sexualised
More signs to look out for on the Western Cape Government website that cover all the variations of abuse that our children could face.
If you are seeing any of these factors then you should be concerned that someone that is in your house or your environment is hurting your child.
Some shocking information from Chilhelp.org – Statistics underscore the alarming effects of child abuse over time:
- 36.7% of all women in prison and 14.4% of all men in prison in the United States were abused as children.
- Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 3.8 times more likely to become addicted to drugs.
- One third of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
Now, this is where I’m going to get all up in your business. If you suspect that someone in your family (anyone, especially uncles, boyfriends, fathers, grandfathers) YOU CANNOT PUT YOUR NEED TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP OVER THE NEED TO HELP YOUR CHILD. Seriously Moms, please, please listen to me. Not for my sake, but the well being of your baby, your precious gift that you have been given to look after, cherish and love.
If you think that you may be dealing with this problem – please check out this resource from the Western Cape Government on how to proceed with reporting it or you can get hold of Childline on 08000 55 555.
Childline South Africa is committed through the support and capacity building of its affiliates, to
- Developing appropriate social services including a 24-hour toll-free helpline and supportive therapeutic social services for children who have been victims of violence, and their families;
- Education and awareness raising programmes facilitating the prevention of violence against children;
- Networking to establish strategic alliances with the aim of advocating for policy changes that will facilitate good management practices for abused children;
- Research into violence against children within the South African context; and
- Ongoing training and development of staff members and volunteers. Childline South Africa is an affiliation of regional Childlines. Each Province in South Africa has a regional Childline office to which the toll free line for children is directed. The National Childline Office has a coordinating and development function.