I managed to slip out of his grip and crawled under the bed. I tightly held onto one of the bed’s pole and sobbed silently. I closed my eyes hoping that since I wasn’t seeing him, he wouldn’t see me.
He was 16 years old, and I was only 8. I was visiting my grandmother, who instructed him to keep an eye on me while she went to the night-market. Apparently, he was my father’s young brother, which makes him my uncle.
Before I slipped out of his grip I was laying in bed trying to sleep when he jumped on me and started pulling off my little dress. I wasn’t sure what he wanted but I knew in my young mind that it wasn’t good.
When I was under the bed he did all he could to pull me out, in vain. Fortunately, my grandmother returned home shortly after. He pretended that everything was okay and lied that I was hiding under the bed because I had had a bad dream. The next evening when I learned that my grandmother was going back to the market, I ran and hid in the bushes until she returned.
When I told her about my uncle’s strange behavior, to my shock she smacked me hard and claimed that I was lying. The next day I was taken back home to my mother, who was told that I had developed a mental problem. I didn’t tell my mother about what had happened for the fear of being smacked again.
Have you, or anyone you know ever been molested in any way? The questions are; how did you feel? Did you tell your parents/caregivers? If you did, how did they deal with it? Did they ever take you for counseling? How do you feel about it now that you are older?
I don’t know what your story is, but one thing I know is that attempted rape, actual rape or any other kind of molestation, are tormenting. I was convinced that I had done something wrong, which had inspired my uncle to want to rape me. I concluded that there was something wrong with me. I lost trust in all the adults I knew. I felt betrayed and unloved. It took me many years before I forgave him. I also had to forgive myself for thinking that it was my fault that he attempted to rape me.
How do You Protect Your Kids from Molestation?
Firstly, it is important to know that molesters can be other kids, relatives, friends and even caregivers. Furthermore, know that molestation can be done to either girl or boy kids. With that in mind, you can’t rule anyone out. And I’m not suggesting that you became paranoid about everyone you leave your kids with. The idea is to protect your kid(s) in a calculated way.
Here are a few pointers.
- Build trust with your kids in such a way that they feel free to tell you anything however uncomfortable it may be. You can build trust by encouraging them to tell you about their day. Spend at least 30 minutes with them, daily. Ask them about their day; what they liked and what could have been better. Listen without interruption until they are done. Ask questions to inspire them to tell you more. If you are so busy to create time, tough luck. Remember that these are your kids and if you are so busy to spend time with them it is time to re-evaluate your priorities.
- Don’t bring other kids or relatives whose behavior you are unfamiliar with around your kids. If you do in-case of emergencies, make sure that there’s an adult to watch over them.
- Administer thorough background checks for the nanny you want to hire. Don’t let appearances deceive you. Furthermore, be certain that anymore who is to take care of your kids is emotionally stable. Avoid recruiting nannies with intense negative past experiences unless of course they went for therapy. And I’m not saying that it’s right to deny someone a job just because they have a negative past. Certainly, everyone deserves a second chance. The point is, make sure that they are no longer traumatized by their experiences. Note that it might be hard to know if someone is still emotionally suffering but if you pay close attention to their behavior you will be able to establish if they are traumatized or not by the way they communicate, respond, dress and/or generally carry themselves.
- If you are hiring a nanny to take care of your kids, ask for referrals and be sure to call and speak to each one of them. Ask questions about the nanny’s past and work ethic. Make sure that the details on their resumes match what the referrals say.
- Watch your kids for non-usual behavior and talk to them about it.
- Buy secret cameras if you can, and install them in different places in your house. Make sure that you watch the recordings for each day that you leave your kid(s) alone with the nanny.
These are a few tips that will protect your kids from being molested, or at the very least alert you of any strange behavior. However, it is also important to know that a molester might be so good at hiding their behavior and regardless of how protective and organized you are, they will still abuse your kids. The idea is to stay present and connected to your kids. Pay attention to any abnormal behavior that your kids express.
Most importantly, surround yourself with positive-minded people whose behavior is consistently positive—at least for the most part. If anything feels strange with your nanny or other people you leave your kids with, respect your feelings and investigate. Also, take care of your own thoughts. Imagine that your kids are always safe regardless of the strategies that you are instilling, and the best will most probably happen. Remember the important, yet often ignored small detail…we experience what we think about all the time.
Sending you much love and divine anointing.