Article by Damien Lee Thorr
I have spent several weeks doing research in the matter of child sexual abuse. I have interviewed victims and experts in the field of child psychology and therapists who help victims.
This has been an exhausting endeavor but worth the trouble, as I hope to help and prevent.
Those of you out there who have children should read this and follow it to the very best of your abilities.
1. Always talk to your children about perverts and about people touching them inappropriately and to always report to you or someone if it happens. Teach them and assure them that the threats perverts will make are false and to be ignored. Remember, perverts, abusers or pedophiles come in all races, all forms of social standing and can be found in any type of careers. It is often a mistake to think a pedophile is just a homeless bum on the streets. They are from all walks of life and very skilled at charming a child and its family.
2. Do not feel uncomfortable when discussing sexual matters with your children and do not threaten to harm perverts as they will fear this reaction from you and it may work against you. Some victims have admitted to holding silence because they feared a parent's reaction and actions that may potentially get parents in trouble. Do not respond in anger or hysteria when a child reports a sexual incident because they will become nervous and shut down. Respond by calmly asking more questions and get more details.
3. Never leave them unattended for a second. During my research I witnessed several parents at the playground completely distracted, texting or doing something on their phones rather than playing with their kids or watching them. Some children were injured at the playground and the parent was not aware their child had fallen. Proper supervision would have prevented this. But mainly, if a pervert sees a parent is too distracted, it is an opportunity for an abduction.
4. Train them not to talk to strangers even if they have a cute puppy or a cool toy. Studies indicate that many children have been lured by using puppies or anything cute or even a toy.
5. In the case of Steven Stayner, who was only 7 when he was abducted and raped for 7 years, the pervert (who I will not honor with a mention of his name) approached him as he was leaving school, telling him his parents said it was OK for him to be picked up by the pervert. Train your children to be alarmed at such an approach since a parent will never entrust such a task to a complete stranger. Keep an open line of communication and train them to use cell phones to call you immediately and teach them to dial 911.
6. In the case of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, both teens in Ohio, the pervert was a known person who was the father of a friend. Train them to reject help or rides from people they know and to avoid getting into their vehicles. It may seem extreme but you can never be too careful. Train them to avoid strangers everywhere. Train them to avoid anyone who even asks for directions. Tell them to run. Kids and adults have been snatched by perverts just asking for the time.
7. Trust no one! This is the part that sickened me when I was conducting my research. The vast majority of children who were sexually victimized were assaulted by close family friends and/or relatives. Beware of your own brothers, cousins, parents, uncles, grandfathers, etc...
It is a very good idea to NEVER leave your child alone or unsupervised with anyone, even your very own family. Studies indicate that these are the cases that mostly go unreported. This is frightening.
8. Clergy have been known to be sexual abusers when they have had children in their care. I am an atheist so I would never trust clergy for anything, but do not be deceived by the cloth.
9. If you must use a care taker or baby sitter for your child, be sure to screen them carefully and avoid teens. Teenagers going through adolescence tend to be very sexually confused and have a tendency to experiment since they are insecure and will target a child they can overpower rather than someone their age. Studies conducted by Dr. Carla Van Dam reflect that sexual abuse by baby sitters was as high as 5%.
10. ALWAYS communicate with your child and inspect their bodies for any marks or signs of sexual activity. Train your children about their bodies and to guard themselves.
11. Children like to take karate lessons or music lessons or art or tennis lessons... Attend the lessons with them, This way you can monitor and supervise their progress and even learn a little something yourself, too.
12. Set up a SAFE word with your children in the event that someone else may have to pick them up from school or anywhere else in the event of an emergency. This way, your child will know if it is safe to go with that person. They should understand that if there is NO safe word, they will immediately seek help and resort to an escape plan.
13. Do not judge people based on their appearance. Pedophilia is something that is never written on the face of anyone who has committed such offenses or that could potentially commit such a crime. People tend to judge others in society based on their dirty or clean or attractive appearance but looks should never be a factor. According to Dr Carla Van Dam, in her book, Identifying Child Molesters, parents have misplaced trust by judging a person for their looks or attire. For some reason people think a pedophile looks like a ragged, homeless person, when, even though that may be, it is not always so. The vast majority of pedophiles captured have been well dressed people from all walks of life and all races.
Good luck to all of you and I'd like to thank those of you who assisted me with my questions during my research.
Damien Lee Thorr is the composer and lead guitarist for the popular and openly atheist/political activist metal band, PREDATOR (on MVD) and has authored many essays and editorials as well as the horror-erotica novel The Vampire Journals.