Protecting Our Daughters From Sexual Abuse

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Recently, as I’ve read information about the Bill Gothard accusations (which can be found at www.recoveringgrace.org), I’ve done some more research about child predators (either accused or convicted) within the church.  This reading has lead me to a church in our area, where a scandal took place in October/November.  Actually, the pastor from this church has been accused of sexually molesting girls many years ago in a different state, but has since disappeared.  There were news stories about these incidents several months back when we didn’t have broadcast television, and yesterday I was able to view them over the internet, as well as read the girl’s stories.

This shook me, since my family visited this exact church almost two years ago.  Thankfully, a church member made it quite clear that our youngest child wasn’t welcome in the sanctuary, or we possibly would have visited again.  This church also has a Christian School that I considered enrolling our children in once they reached kindergarten age, but we chose to homeschool instead.

What struck me about the girl’s stories that I read was that they were able to gracefully share without divulging the exact, horrid details.  I began looking into sexual abuse statistics and realized that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused by the age of 18.  (Reference)  That number is huge!  Most girls will never talk about the abuse, because of either embarrassment, fear or shame.  Although quite different, I have a story to share too.  The only people that know about this at the moment are my husband and daughters, but if speaking out might help one girl, then that’s what I should do.

During most of my school career, I rode the school bus.  Starting in the third grade a boy one year older than I began inappropriately touching me.  Almost every single day.  I didn’t just sit there and let it happen, but would fight back.  We lived in the same neighborhood which was at the end of the bus route, so he would wait until most people were off of the bus.  I never sat in the back or front of the bus, but near the middle to be with my friends until it was their stop.  The bus driver never knew, or if she did, she never said anything.

When this began happening, it was just way too embarrassing to tell anyone!  Instead I declared that I was no longer going to school, but planned to be homeschooled.  (Homeschooling wasn’t very popular in the 80s, but one of my mom’s good friends that lived in our neighborhood homeschooled so I was familiar with it.)  I actually would pitch a fit until my mom said that I could stay home.  A few times my mom would drive me to school after the bus left and I would basically hyperventilate in the car until she drove me back home.  She thought it to be normal, but what is normal about a third grader acting this way?  Finally after a little more of a week of this she promised to take me to a New Kids on the Block concert if I went back to school.  She won.

The abuse continued for two years, until I was big enough to really defend myself.  One time I kicked him out of my bus seat with such force that a pencil from my book bag jammed into my leg.  (Ouch.  I actually still have a spot of lead which I guess embedded into my leg as a permanent reminder.)  I don’t feel the need to divulge any other details or even a name, since he passed away about 10 years ago from cancer.

While I have many other “public school experience” reasons as to why we homeschool, and even more importantly, Biblical reasons, this one is at the top of my list.  This wasn’t some older man that I was left alone with, but a kid basically my age.  This isn’t just a “bus problem,” (while I would strongly advise against putting your child on a school bus), but could happen essentially anywhere where there is not direct, attentive, competent adult supervision.  This was in a good, suburban Atlanta school district.

The fact of the matter is, as mothers, we cannot actively protect our children as we should if we send them to school without us five days a week.   There are obviously many other places that we need to be watchful of our children as well, such as within the church, around older relatives, and even with mixed groupings of friends.  Unfortunately, we live in a digital age where pornography is readily available, and young children are exposed to such and curiosity is aroused.  This easily leads to abuse among peers.  A school where the student/teacher ratio is high, and a parent isn’t there to keep watch is a prime place for abuse to occur.  Many times I have been accused of being overprotective, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If something seems off with your daughter, please take note of it!!   Most girls will not directly speak of their abuse out of fear and embarrassment.  Please do not blow off any hints that something might be wrong.  Statistics show that this is happening to many of our daughters.

 

Written by Nicole

NICOLE CRONE enjoys writing encouragement for moms in which God is glorified at her blog, Children are a Blessing. She is wife to Rusty, and mom to eight sweet children. Nicole has been a homeschool mom for thirteen years, and is currently a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. When Nicole isn’t homeschooling, you can find her writing, reading, sewing, or blogging at www.childrenareablessing.org. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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About Nicole

NICOLE CRONE enjoys writing encouragement for moms in which God is glorified at her blog, Children are a Blessing. She is wife to Rusty, and mom to eight sweet children. Nicole has been a homeschool mom for thirteen years, and is currently a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. When Nicole isn’t homeschooling, you can find her writing, reading, sewing, or blogging at www.childrenareablessing.org. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

17 Thoughts on “Protecting Our Daughters From Sexual Abuse

  1. Shanon on March 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm said:

    Thank you for writing this. When I was still thinking about whether or not to homeschool, I met with another homeschooling mom to ask her questions. I mentioned wanting to protect my kids from bullying and she actually told me that you can’t homeschool because you want to protect your kids from things. Um, what? Of course I can! And I should. It’s my job as their mother to shield them from anything harmful and that was really what sealed the deal on our homeschooling decision.

    • Nicole on March 20, 2014 at 8:05 am said:

      I agree Shanon. It’s sad, most people think just plain protection is “overprotection” these days.

  2. Something I discovered years ago when I finally told…it wasn’t my secret to keep. I didn’t have to have that burden anymore. The Lord totally helped me to give it to Him and He has healed me. Thank you for sharing your story. You may have just given someone else the courage to tell and to not carry that burden anymore.

    • Nicole on March 20, 2014 at 8:12 am said:

      Thank you for sharing Melissa. I haven’t felt much of a burden for a few years, but I do sometimes still feel resentful towards my mother (which with the Lord’s help I’m working on!) for not removing me from the situation. Granted, I never told her why I wanted to be removed. And the situation made me aware of that this problem occurs within the school system firsthand, which is a blessing! Otherwise I might have sent my children to school, and something of this nature could have happened to them.

  3. Unfortunately, my daughter went through this last year right in her classroom by another classmate. It happened one too many times. She told me about it right away I called the school but it still occurred two more times before they made him sit in the teachers desk at all times. I honestly believe I should have made a report to the authorities. I was trying to protect my daughter without adding more stress. The school seemed more concerned with protecting the other child’s rights more than my daughters but then again what can you expect from public school? I plan on homeschooling next school year. Yahweh willing! I know he wants me to. My husband is now supportive of it, Praise Yaweh! I am a bit lost at it but I know he will make a way for me. My husband and I have found many great learning books at goodwill.

    • Nicole on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 am said:

      Thank you for sharing Amber! There are a lot of great free homeschooling resources online as well. 🙂

  4. Thank You for sharing as well:) Yes, I am finding there are plenty of resources online. Also, congratulations on your baby on the way. Very exciting! I have 5 right now. I pray that Yahweh will bless me with more. I pray my husband changes his mind. He did for the last one LOL 😉

  5. Also I forgot to mention that boys need protection too especially little ones. My son that is in first grade, has been smacked twice now in the face on the bus from another classmate and all the child got was two write ups. (they are allowed three). Praise Yahweh! that he is leading me to home-school, Halleluyah!

  6. This is a great post……….it happens and happens much! And even if someone is not actively touching a girl, damage can still be done to girls AND boys by hearing other students recount some R or X rated video they have seen and this does happen. I am so thankful to be able to homeschool my children for many reason. 🙂 Gentle Joy

    • Nicole on March 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm said:

      Yes, this does happen often! I knew way too much about such material when I was in the 1st and 2nd grade from my peers.

  7. Hilda on March 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm said:

    I totally agree with you Nicole. Many Christian mom’s who homeschool are accused of being overprotective with their children, but that is what we are suppose to do- protect our children.

    The reasons and incidents you named above, ARE one of my reasons why I have decided to homeschool, though it’s not just the only reason, but that is a big one. There is no way we can possibly protect our children the way we are suppose to when we are not there to protect them- especially when they are little.

    When I was in the 4th grade- 8 years old- I dealt – me and many of the girls in class- with so much sexual harassment from the other boys who wanted to touch us inappropriately and whose minds were FILLED by inappropriate shows and soap operas. I hated school! I was very thankful when we moved from that school in Downtown Los Angeles to a city in which the boys at school still had some respect for girls- but that has changed in that very school nowadays, which has been 20 years now.

    Also, when I was 8, there was a girl at my church who wanted me to spend the night at her house so we could hang out. I so wanted to go and that night my dad said yes. My mom was mad at my dad because she didn’t trust men or where older boys would be, and they got in a small argument and my dad ended with, “It’s okay, he (the girl’s father) is a brother from church.” So I stayed the night at her house that night, and he molested me for hours touching me inappropriately. Oh how I hated that night. After that at church, he acted like nothing, pretending to be a “loving brother” with my father and everyone. I did tell my parents at 13 which was the beginning of healing for me.

    Sorry for the long comment, but we do have to really be on the alert to protect our daughters AND sons, since 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually abused in some way by the age of 18.

    Thank you so much for this post!

    • Nicole on March 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm said:

      Thank you so much for sharing Hilda! That is simply terrible. Unfortunately abuse can happen everywhere. It is heartbreaking. In my scenario I was in a suburban/rural school district. While most of the boys were respectful, obviously some were not. I’m sure it is much worse now. I am hesitant of sleepovers for the very reasons you explained above! And yes, we can’t forget the boys.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband and I are talking about homeschooling our son and the points you make here are reason enough to do so! As parents, God has given us the responsibility to train our children and, wow, is that a huge responsibility, too!

    Amy @ http://livinglifetruth.blogspot.com/

  9. Aimee on April 18, 2014 at 2:13 am said:

    Not just school and buses… nursing home ministry as well. Besides being touched inappropriately by a boy in the second grade class (during class, while seated in a group, several times), I was molested by a resident at a nursing home where my parents took us twice a month for ministering the gospel and singing. I was just trying to be friendly and say hello to some of the residents. Two other girls in our group were also inappropriately harassed or touched by this same man. I felt dirty, and it was embarrassing to tell my parents. There were multiple residents in the room, multiple staff persons, my parents along with at least four other adults in close proximity- and NO ONE NOTICED. I share this to open the eyes of other parents to other potential situations as well as those that have already been mentioned.

  10. Thank you for sharing. This deeply touched my heart and I truly appreciate you being brave enough to share.

    • Nicole on October 31, 2015 at 5:56 am said:

      You’re welcome Micayla. It was definitely difficult to share, but if it helps even one child it was worth it.

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