The man who allegedly accused Kevin Clash, Elmo’s puppeteer, of sexual abuse now says it was consensual. He reported that he was 18 years old. Victims often recant when things get heated, but hopefully this is true. Being falsely accused of molestation is no joke. Neither is being a victim. The media notoriously makes erroneous statements like, ‘underage sexual relationship.’ Minors can’t consent to sex. They are sexually assaulted, abused, molested, raped etc. Below offers ways to detect if someone has been or is being sexually abused.
It is important for you and for your children or those around you, to learn ways to protect yourself and especially children from being sexually abused. Whatever your reasons are, there are two things you must believe if you want to protect your children. The first thing is that you must believe that it can happen to your child, i.e., your child can be a victim of sexual abuse. The second, and often harder concept to accept, is that you must believe that anyone can sexually abuse your children. Approximately 93% of sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they know and trust. Take this in. There have been many cases where the parents were in the bed with the child in the middle, where the child was fondled. It can happen anywhere and don’t assume you would know. The high profile abductions in the media are rare. Look at the people in your life to protect your child and be aware of signs of abuse in other children.
Poor boundaries, walking into bathrooms/bedrooms while the child is bathing, dressing etc.
Inappropriate talk about sex
Viewing pornography in front of the child (which is sexual abuse)
Showing favoritism toward one child
Showing interest in younger children
Wrestling and tickling: just don’t allow it, it isn’t necessary
Children who act out and lie are easy targets, as the offender knows “nobody will believe it”
Be mindful of your children around people who work with children, (Poor Elmo) as pedophiles tend to be drawn to fields such as coaching, priesthood, youth pastors, clowns, teachers etc. It is about easy access and easy targets. Children already trusts these people. Don’t freak, talk to your child about the risks, and be there for you child’s games and other activities. The more involved you are, the less of a target your child will be.
Single mothers need to be cautious, as they will seek out those lacking a father figure. Stepdads and uncles are notorious for abusing children.
Monitor social media. Many children are enticed by online sex offenders.
Teach your child to develop his or her instincts, get them involved in meditation and martial arts, have a plan should something happen, educate and talk openly about the potential for abuse to happen so you child will tell you. Many victims don’t tell anyone for years due to fear, embarrassment, feeling guilty and not wanting to disrupt the family. Unless you want to alienate your child, always believe your child. Never pick a paramour over your child. Most children don’t lie about these things. They tend to recant out of fear. If you determine that in the rare instance it was a lie, then there are other issues warranting intense psychotherapy and family therapy.
The main point is to be open to the idea that something terrible could happen, and that knowledge is power. So keep your head out of your ass and pay attention. Sex offenders are lazy and subtle, looking for easy targets so they can get away with it. Stories like the man behind Elmo are reminders to monitor children better to protect them from sexual abuse.