Our news is consistently flooded with stories about people who have been subjected to sexual abuse. Working with kids from hard places, we know that sexual abuse is not new, but more and more people are willing to come forward to share their experience.
Statistics say that 1 in 10 children (1 in 3 girls; 1 in 6 boys) experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. 90% of children who are sexually abused know the perpetrator from school, church, friends, or their own family.
One of the most significant factors that make a child vulnerable to abuse is not having an involved caregiver. Perpetrators watch children and their families to see if they can gain access and privacy with the child without gaining attention. As you can imagine, children who are experiencing neglect or have a caregiver who struggles with substance abuse often fly under the radar.
As scary as this conversation is to consider, we must be “as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). We need to be prudent in how we supervise kids and how we teach them about keeping their bodies safe when we’re not around. If you’re a Support Team Member, of course you will need to talk with your foster or adoptive family about how they would like body safety discussed and carried out.
There are opportunities to….
As stated in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline”. We can use that power, love and self-discipline to help keep our kids as safe as we can!