|Copyright Rise and Shine Movement 2012|
"Do you see anything wrong with what she's wearing?" asked the editor as he pointed to the illustration of the little girl in overalls. He had just read my sexual abuse prevention manuscript and now he was evaluating the illustrations.
"No." I responded.
"Think about it."
I looked back at the illustration hoping the answer would jump off the page. It didn't. I turned toward him, "I'm sorry," I said, my eyebrows and shoulders raised, "I'm just not getting it."
He hesitated. I waited.
"How...um...How could someone touch her, you know, in her private areas, with those [overalls] on?" he asked.
There is much confusion as to what constitutes sexual abuse. Before we begin our discussion on protecting our kids from sexual abuse, let me give you a definition from an expert who has spent years counseling survivors.
"Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child/adolescent and an adult when the child/adolescent is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or any other person. Sexual abuse may be committed by a person under the age of eighteen when that person is either significantly older than the victim or when the perpetrator is in a position of power or control over the victimized child/adolescent." (The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allender, Navpress, 1995, page 48.)
I didn't rattle off this definition to the editor. He was already overwhelmed—clearly uncomfortable with the topic.
"A violation is a violation," I responded, "regardless of whether it was above the clothes or beneath the clothes."
"You'd better include that in the back of your book or something." he said.
"Yes, I think I should."
Our conversation ended.
And I was relieved. I clearly needed a different editor.
Parents who refuse to ignore the epidemic of childhood sexual violations and have a solid understanding of what sexual abuse is, have embraced the first step in protecting their kids from sexual abuse.
Please stop by next week to learn another tip on how to protect your kids.