No one was home, except for her. No one was there to tell her, “no,” so she took the small bits of change she saw on the table and started her walk to the snow cone stand. It was just a few blocks and she figured she would get back before anyone knew she wasn’t home.
She was about to cross the street when she heard a man, sitting in a black car in front of the small kiosk, calling to her. He was waving to her to come forward, but she wasn’t sure what he was saying, except for “can you help me.”
She was standing close to the car and looked through the open-window of the car. The man had unzipped his pants and was touching himself.”
She stepped back and started running towards home. Once there, she locked the doors and hoped her mother would be home soon. She put the money back on the table. She knew that no one would know what had just happened. She was not going to tell anyone.
After all … she was the one that took the money from the table and was disobeying her mother by leaving the house. And, she was the one who had walked up to that man’s car. No, she could not tell anyone, because clearly … this was her fault.
Unfortunately, this is how many children feel, when a traumatic event, like this, happens. Children are taught to reason what is and isn’t their fault. Usually, they will reason that whatever happened, in a situation like this … must be their fault, and they will get in trouble. Consequently, they do not tell anyone … but the nagging of that moment … the knots it puts in their stomach … will stay with them … long after the actual event.
Parents will never know exactly what happens when they are not with their children. They can’t always be there to supervise their children. But, they can prepare their children. They can talk with their children about child predators and what they do. They can instill the trust in their children (early on) that in cases like this, it is not their fault and they will not get in trouble for immediately telling someone what just happened to them. Children need to know they can “tell someone.”
Thank you for reading … and, “caring by sharing.”
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story. I am listening.
11/18/2016 3:15 pm edt
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