I was going through photos that were free to use, because let's face it, I'm too cheap to purchase photos. When I came across this photo, I was struck that this too was Hitler. He had smile lines, not the straight-faced stern look too often portrayed. He was touching his friend Joseph Goebbel's daughter's chin ever so lightly, rather than shouting fiercely at the crowd. The woman in the background looks pleased at what she saw, not scared or stricken. He looked likable.
This made me realize something. To many, he was likable. People willingly followed him. Not because he was so evil they feared him, although I am sure that happened as well, but because people sincerely wanted to please him.
So why would the likability of Hitler have anything to do with a parenting blog.
Honestly, it's because it reminded me to be careful. Be careful who you trust, be careful who you allow your children to be alone with. Just because someone seems friendly, does not mean you can trust them. According to the United States Department of Justice NSOPW, 75 percent of sexual perpetrators are people the victim knows, although I have heard that number is as high as 90 percent. What that means is most likely, these were people that were trusted.
Now, I am not urging parents to never allow their kids to have sleepovers or be alone with another adult or to scare them. That being said, I have respect for parents who have made that decision. I heard once Ozzy Osborne's kids were never allowed to go to a sleepover. Not that they are the pillar of all that is good, but it shows that if that's how you feel, you are not alone.
What I am saying is, be careful. Get to know the people who are in your child's life. Really know them.
Unfortunately, some are too late. Some feel like failures, because in their eyes, they failed to protect their children from a person they trusted. I am hear to say, forgive yourself. Do not take the blame.
The NSOPW also cited that, "Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18." You are not alone; your child is not alone. We can not protect our children from every danger, every person, every thing that is out there.
So please, forgive yourself. Do not blame yourself. It was one person's fault and one person's fault only, and it was not yours. Then remember to "cast... all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) Then be there for your sweet child. Listen to them. Nurture them. Seek help from people more qualified than yourself. But most of all, love them.
I will say a quick prayer for you moms enduring this.
Dear Lord, you alone know the pain in this mom's heart. You alone know her child's pain. Thank you Lord that you do love us, more than we love ourselves. Thank you Lord that you love our children more than we could possibly love them. Help us to trust you. Help us to set our anger, our disappointment, our grief aside. Give these sweet mom's wisdom in how and when to talk to their children. Guide them on how to seek justice. Be with their children, help their children to use this horrible experience as a reason to grow, not to crumple. Lord, give these victims and their family members comfort. Give them peace. Give them joy, despite the heartache. Lord please stop the men or women who did this, so they can never do this again. Lord, protect all your children, young and old, from this devastating abuse. In Jesus name. - Amen.