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Silent Spirits – Not So Silent

August 22, 2012

Adults Protecting Children

Too many times we are presented with articles and messaging that teaches us to talk to children and vulnerable people about protecting themselves from sex abuse. Some of these messages tell us to tell children to say no or that our private body parts are ours and shouldn’t be touched (unless it is a trusted adult). This approach can leave adults feeling like they have done the work to protect but puts all of the responsibility on the child. Teaching children about personal boundaries and consent is extremely important but just as important is teaching adults to assess vulnerability and risk in their family, friends and community.

Every day we are blasted with news about registered sex offenders, missing children, online predators and so many other types of violent crime. What do we do with all of this fear filled messaging? The first thing that we can do is to recognize that sexual predators live among us in our family, friends and community. Sex offenders spend years mastering their skills to groom people. They can be friendly, charismatic, respected, successful, intelligent, kind and very patient. This is why it is so difficult to address this type of abuse/crime in communities.  The fact that they have figured us out to access their victims means that we have the ability to figure them out. Here is a quick tip list to assess vulnerable people and risky people in your life.

Vulnerability Assessment: Increase level of trust and protection

Children

Elderly

Mentally & Physically Disabled

Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Predator Access Risk Assessment: Can’t afford to give the benefit of the doubt

Single Parents are at a 25% higher risk to Sex Offender grooming

Adults/Teens that consume a lot of time with vulnerable people while being in a position of power

“Creep Factor” people. We have instincts for a reason and need to own them and not minimize

Adult family members with previous or current allegations are an extremely high risk to vulnerable

Minimizing our instincts and because we don’t think like a sex offender, their access has continuously increased over the years. 39,000,000 people in the United State have been sexually abused and this is one of the most under reported crimes. The long term impacts of sex abuse victimization typically last a life time and can be devastating. Child victims grow into adult victims who deal with issues that can include; substance abuse, depression, re-victimization, self-destructive behaviors, low self-esteem, family isolation, community detachment and suicidal thoughts/attempts/completion. It is time to fight this fight and protect our vulnerable from predators.

Savenia Falquist

www.silentspirits.info

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