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Protect Your Daughters from Predators!

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Anea Bogue: Let me be very clear. Under no circumstances is it OK for a man to have sex with a woman unless she has given him a resounding, "Yes!"

ben roethlisberger

So when anintoxicated 20-year-old college girl toldPittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, "No. This is not OK" when he had one of his bodyguards escort her into a bar's back room, that should have been the end of it. Period. It certainly should not have progressed to the allegedrapethat it did.

That said, while men like Roethlisberger must be taken to task by the law (and in this case, by the NFL -- who recently suspended the star QB), predatory men who believe it is their right to take what they want from women are not going away. So what can we do as parents to ensure that our daughters have the tools they need to protect themselves in these situations?

If your daughter is already a teen (and perhaps off to college) the quickest tool you can give her is awareness. She must understand that being intoxicated in any environment is going to lower her defenses.

This does not mean you should simply tell her to never drink. She will tune you out before you get to your second sentence, and all will be lost. Instead, explain that context is everything. Just as she wouldn't walk in a dark alley alone or count money out on a busy street, becoming intoxicated in the company of strange men (and just because he's a celebrity doesn't mean you know him!) makes her extremely vulnerable. Everything from poor decision-making to becoming unable to physically defend herself because she's intoxicated increases her chances of being victimized.

Secondly, it must be a rule within her group of friends that they never allow themselves to be separated from one another. The "bathroom buddy system" is essential at parties and bars. It is common practice for a predatory man to deliberately work to separate his target from her friends. Roethlisberger used this technique with the help of his bodyguard ... and succeeded.

The third and most important thing you can do for your daughter, whether she's 9 or 19 (and ideally it begins at her first breath), is to constantly be aware of building her self-esteem. When Roethlisberger announced that night, "All my bitches, take some shots," one young woman replied with, "Who does he think he is?" and then left. For her, the celebrity football player held no value if he was going to speak of her as though she had no value. How different would the whole night have been if the 20-year-old victim and her friends had valued themselves enough to be equally unimpressed by Roethlisberger's antics, rather than enamored by the feeling of being desired by an obnoxious drunk who happens to wear a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey once a week?


next: Earth Day: Get Your Kids Involved!
23 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jeannette April 22, 2010, 5:39 PM

I raised two daughters. Both of which are successful, intelligent,and beautiful young ladies.
Both, awesome young women, who have been attracted to “well known” men.

Awareness is important of what intentions are of those who often offend young women.

Remember…The environment, training and education, of homedand social culture, are vital to the”sexual” education of women, so NOT to be victimized.

My youngest daughter is dating a past NFL player and he is the “perfect” gentleman that every mother would want to her daughter to date.
I’m pleased that he encourages her to be the best person she can be. To help the community in which she lives and to live a healthy life.

What more can a mother ask?
NOT all NFL players are jerks!

Autumn April 22, 2010, 6:29 PM

She wasn’t saying that all NFL players are jerks. She was saying that just because somebody is an NFL player doesn’t mean he isn’t a potential rapist.

I agree with most of the article, but I think it’s important to be moderate with the scare tactics. Training girls that every man is a potential rapist is unnecessary at best and unhealthy at worst. The danger shouldn’t be discounted, but it’s important not to scare people away from positive experiences because they’re afraid of having negative ones.

Kathy April 23, 2010, 5:54 AM

Ben Rothlisberger was neither charged or convicted of “rape” so he should not be labeled as a “Predator” until proven guilty. If he is, he needs to be stopped, but there are those who would “lie” to get money or their 15 minutes of fame.

liberrian April 23, 2010, 7:50 AM

This is not just an issue for parents of girls, though it’s always framed that way. It’s not just about teaching your daughter to use the buddy system and building her self-esteem. How often do we get these “teach your daughter how to stay safe” articles?

How about the “teach your son to be a decent human being?” Yeah, no one wants to think that their son could grow up to be a date rapist, but obviously, lots of sons do. How we raise our sons to respect others, be compassionate, be listeners, seems at least as important as how we raise our daughters.

I don’t mean this to be an attack on the author—but really, this is not just a “women’s issue.” It’s a people issue.

Aprilcot26 April 23, 2010, 10:08 AM

Last time I checked, Big Ben had been neither charged nor convicted. In the eyes of the law he is innocent until proven guilty. Is he guilty of being an irresponsible moron? Absolutely! But to label a potentially innocent man as a predator is irresponsible as well.

Christina April 23, 2010, 2:42 PM

As the mother of two boys, I second liberrian. To those of you who maintain that because he wasn’t charged, he’s not guilty - regardless of his criminal status, can you really say that you’re ok with your daughters being spoken to and treated in such an appalling fashion?

michelle April 26, 2010, 1:23 PM

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has been exposing just how shoddily the police handled the situation, because they were all busy sucking up to Ben. And they intimidated the girl into not filing charges. They need to be fired. That dogfighting guy went to jail, but if you abuse women, that’s totally fine somehow?

http://www.ajc.com/news/qbs-case-in-trouble-493407.html

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