twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Protect Your Child from Sex Abuse, Part 1

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Jennifer Ginsberg: On July 15, 2002, Samantha Runnion became the victim of a convicted child molester. As she played with a friend outside her house in a suburban, gated, Southern-California community, she was kidnapped, then driven seventy miles away, sexually assaulted, beaten upside the head and finally asphyxiated via pressure to the chest. (In other words, her killer pressed on her chest until the breath was forced from her lungs and her heart stopped.) Samantha would have turned 6 eleven days later.

Samantha Runnion
The man who killed Samantha had been accused and tried for molesting two girls (one his girlfriend's daughter; the other, her cousin). Statistics tell us there were likely many other victims who never reported him. There was no reason why this man should have been acquitted. What happened to Samantha was an extreme case of the miscarriage of justice that occurs when convicted sex offenders are not kept locked behind bars, where they belong.

Seventy percent of all convicted sexual-assault felons committed their crimes against children; over half of their victims were under age 12. When these men are released from prison, the rate of recidivism is exceptionally high. There is no known treatment or cure for child sexual abusers; the only solution is keeping them in prison -- and away from children.

After Samantha death, her mother, Erin Runnion, educated herself about child abuse and abduction and became a founder of the nonprofit organization the Joyful Child Foundation, which aims to protect our nation's children from sexual abuse and abduction through programs that unite and uplift communities. The Joyful Child Foundation is a proud partner in the "Not One More Child" child-safety initiative and the radKIDS child-safety educational model, which is recognized as the national leader in violence-prevention for children.

According to Ms. Runnion, there are specific steps that parents can take to "eliminate opportunities for sexual abuse to occur." (It is important to note that 90 percent of sexual abuse is at the hands of someone the parent knows and trusts.) Here are her suggestions:

• Even nonverbal babies and toddlers must have their impulses honored. If there is someone that they don't want to be held by or left alone with, don't force them. The worst thing you can do is coerce an unwilling child to hug or kiss someone, even if this person is a family member. When we make our child hug or kiss someone, we are telling them to ignore their instincts and that their feelings don't count.

Talk to your children before something happens.Teach them that nobody should touch their private parts, and practice with them how to tell someone to stop. Teach them to scream and run away. There are many helpful children's books on the subject of sex abuse. (Momlogic likes "Your Body Belongs to You" and "It's My Body.") As you read the books, answer questions as they come up -- even the tough ones. Don't mince words. You can say something like, "There are people who may seem nice, but really want to hurt you. If they ever touch your private parts or tell you it is a 'secret game,' you must scream 'No!' and then run and tell me immediately."

No sleepovers for kids under 10. This may seem extreme, but according to Ms. Runnion, molesters commonly attack kids during sleepovers. She suggests that if your child is invited to a sleepover and wants to go, you make it your policy to say, "Mommy comes with, or we don't go."

Limit the number of people you leave your children alone with.Before leaving them with someone new, remind them of your safety rules. Create a private password or phrase that your children can use if they feel uncomfortable and want to come home. If, for example, your child is at a playdate and the big brother or dad is making them feel weird, they may be too embarrassed or afraid to call you and ask to be picked up outright. (It might hurt their friends' feelings.) But if they can call and ask you an innocent-sounding code question (like, "Did you remember to feed the goldfish"), then you can be the "bad guy" -- and come get them right away (with a plausible excuse).

Have a child ID kit on hand in case of emergency.This is an envelope that includes recent photos, medical records, custody papers (if applicable), a cheek swab and/or fingernail clippings (in a separate plastic bag), fingerprints, a list of regular activities and the contact info for the adults in charge. According to Ms. Runnion, if your child is abducted, the last thing you want to have to do is run around trying to get all this information for the authorities. It's best to have it prepared beforehand -- and pray that you will never need it.

Above all, trust your instincts. Just because someone seems strange doesn't mean they're a predator, but it's better to be safe than sorry. According to Ms. Runnion, when we talk to our children about how to interact with other people, we place a disproportionate emphasis on the concept of politeness. "Of course, we all want sweet and well-mannered children," she says. "But their safety is the most important issue. When a child is feeling uncomfortable, they DO NOT need to be polite. They are allowed to scream, yell, kick, bite or do whatever they need to do to get away. Constantly remind your child that their safety is the most important thing to you."

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read part two, which focuses on how to identify adults who may be looking to victimize your child.


next: Why Teens Shouldn't Be Vegetarians
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
RSO Truth September 13, 2010, 5:56 AM

Again with the overinflated statistics? Not much logic in MomLogic these days. What if we used Sandra Cantu instead to start an article? So how do you address the fact over 95% of new sex crime cases are committed by first time offenders? How do you pick out the rare recidivist among the 715,000+ registrants in the USA? Statistically speaking, as a parent you’re the greatest danger to your kids. How far do we take this fear and propaganda? Do we put our children in plastic bubbles? The Runnion case was tragic but thankfully a very rare occurrence.

Sex offender facts @ oncefallen. com

KS September 13, 2010, 10:05 AM

Part of the conversation that I have always found left out of the conversation is the fact that the sexual abuse may feel good. The child may have been manipulated into preforming sex acts that they enjoyed doing by someone they trusted and it becomes their own little secret.

Parents also need to start recognizing when any adult is showing their child an abnormal amount of attention. If an adult wants to have your child over for a sleep over ask them why. If an adult is always paying attention to your child and going out of their way to do things with just one of your children you really need to ask yourself why this person is doing that. Favoritism is a precursor to molestation.

Go to the NAMBLA web site and look around. Inform yourself in every single way you can. believing in this stranger danger is the only danger leaves your children vulnerable. You can’t prevent everything but it doesn’t hurt to be informed.

High School Senior Pictures November 25, 2010, 1:40 AM

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

popular hairstyles 2013 for teenagers December 22, 2010, 4:42 AM

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

dieta anului 2010 January 3, 2011, 1:05 PM

I was beeing looking the google for this info and just wanted to say thanks to u for the post. Also, just off topic, how can i download a copy of this theme? – Thanks

phen375 reviews January 6, 2011, 8:15 PM

Women in general aren’t looking to shed substantial numbers of weight typically. Most of the people making use of phen375 are only trying to lose A few in order to 25 weight on average and typically the belly fat. The majority are wholesome, navigate to the fitness center sort folks. They only have not been able to lose fat deposits on their stomach or perhaps have reached the Plato. Abdominal fat issues normally start to take place for women at about the time associated with or even after giving birth and afterwards in grow older pre and post being menopausal. It appears going to females while there hormonal changes are usually transforming; it’s an ordinary means of lifestyle or is this? I will explain to you the real fat kept in the actual belly or perhaps belly area is different and also the much more you’ve of it the whores your own junk discrepancy will end up.

dieta disociata January 11, 2011, 5:07 PM

I was beeing searching the Internet for such information and i wanted to thank u for this post. BTW, just off topic, how can i get a version of this theme? – 10x

cheap mini blinds January 27, 2011, 7:52 PM

Thanks for the groovy read!! I definitely liked every part of it. I have your site favorited to check out fresh material you post.

Bobby Valenzula February 6, 2011, 7:14 AM

I have been examinating out many of your stories and i must say nice stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

cute medium short haircuts 2011 February 17, 2011, 10:37 AM

Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface. But sometimes, there’s a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.

inner ear hearing loss February 27, 2011, 2:18 AM

There is evidently a bunch to know about this. I feel you made some nice points in features also.

filme online March 9, 2011, 4:19 PM

I was been after the google for such information and just wanted to thank you for this post. By the way, just off topic, where can i find a version of this theme? – Regards

Versie Brosseau March 13, 2011, 5:13 PM

Hey, I enjoyed the posts and excellent theme you have here! I have your site favorited to find out new material you post. I would like to say thanks for sharing your experience and the time it took to post!! Two Thumbs up!

blue cocktail dresses under 100 March 28, 2011, 6:48 AM

Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface. But sometimes, there’s a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement