The Sexual Abuse Epidemic


As a child familiar with sexual abuse and a mother of three young girls, the statistic that 1 in 5 children will be sexually abused by age 18 is alarming and sadly, unsurprising. One of the greatest books I've read on the topic, Rid of My Disgrace by Lindsey and Justin Holcomb, defines sexual abuse as: "any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority." (emphasis mine)

90% of sexual abuse victims know their abuser. It could be a family member, a friend, a neighbour, a coach, a teacher. The idea of "stranger danger" is not only outdated, but a potentially problematic, teaching.

This is why I am so glad The Younique Foundation has created the Defend Innocence campaign.

“I think there comes a time in each of our lives and maybe even a specific moment when we become so painfully aware of a problem, that we can no longer dismiss it. We can’t sweep it under the rug. We can’t turn our backs on it. And we certainly cannot turn our hearts away from a cause that is desperate for our attention.”

— Shelaine Maxfield

Visit their website and you'll see that their mission is to "educate parents and empower them to protect their children from sexual abuse while leading a public dialogue to bring the epidemic of abuse to light." (emphasis mine)

As a mom, I want to do everything in my power to protect my kids. I cannot protect them from all harm, but I will learn what I need to know so that I can do my very best.

Defend Innocence shares 4 Rules of Protection.

The first two rules are centered around educating ourselves as parents, and the second two are to equip us to educate our children.

  1. Recognizing Sexual Abuse
  2. Recognizing Perpetrator Grooming Patterns
  3. Teaching Healthy Touch & Healthy Sexuality
  4. Teaching Secrets & Safety

I am so happy to have this information to read and reference. It isn't an easy topic to talk to our kids about, but when we're equipped with the knowledge we need and a willingness to be bold and unashamed, we can truly defend the innocence of our children.

I will defend innocence by...

  • building my daughters' confidence & self-worth
  • teaching healthy sexuality
  • never shying away from difficult topics

How will YOU defend innocence?

Share below, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope (@TarynNergaard)! Use #defendinnocence and #1in5children

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