Smilie Saturday: Linky Love Weekend Roundup

Smilie Saturday: You Make Me SmileIt’s been an extremely busy week around here and I haven’t had much time to prepare new articles, so I wanted to point you towards some articles I’ve read that I believe you’ll find very interesting. I’ve been dealing with an odd little bump that suddenly appeared on my hand two weeks ago, and have been told by the doctor that it’s due to “overuse”, but he wouldn’t give me a doctor’s note that said I had to quit my job on “doctor’s orders”. Darn. Wink

One little side note. I’ve contacted a well-known expert in the area of child sexual abuse, and have suggested to him that he consider doing a Blog Tour to bring greater awareness to the prevalence of sexual abuse on children, the misunderstood subject of “mother blame” and things parents need to know to help protect their children. I’m happy to report that he is very interested, so stay tuned for more on that, as some people may have the idea that what I write regarding child sexual abuse is simply my personal opinion. Nope.

Weekend Roundup:

Be Wise With Your Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate What will you be doing with your tax rebate? We’re just putting ours in the savings account rather than spending it.

What Moms Really Think is a 5-part series that I really enjoyed reading. Be sure to check out each part of the series, as the ladies who participated are awesome!

14 Timeless Ways to Live a Happy Life gives some wonderful reminders for everyone about living a happy and fulfilled life, whether you are a parent or not.

12 Reasons to Turn Off the Television gives excellent advice on many ways our lives will be improved by switching off that little black box.

When Normal Child Sexual Development Becomes Abnormal is something everyone must read, and be sure to check out the links provided there.

Oh Well, Then, Allow Me to Retort is an explosive response to another blogger’s slam on stay-at-home dads. You can click on the links Joe provides in his article to read the “anonymous” dad post on Penelope Trunk’s blog, as I’m not going to give that shameful post any linky love.

Writing Better Blog Post Titles is a Must Read for all bloggers and writers, as this is an area so many bloggers get wrong. Your post titles are one of the most important things to consider in order to pull subscribed readers into your articles, or to increase search engine traffic. Do not miss Lorelle’s article on how to write better titles for your posts.

Thanks to all you for your exceptional blog posts, I really enjoyed all of them.

Child Sexual Abuse: Blaming Mothers of Sexually Abused Children

Sexually Abused ChildWhen I first began the series of articles dealing with child sexual abuse, I promised to write about mother blame. I haven’t written about the legal system and society’s role in blaming mothers, when her child has been sexually abused, because the subject of mother blame infuriates me beyond belief. [Update below]

Dealing with the subject of sexually abused children is a difficult one to say the least; just ask a parent of an abuse victim and you will discover the torrent of emotions involved. Better yet, ask ME! Utter shock, disbelief, ferocious RAGE, devastation, gut-wrenching pain racing through your mind and heart, and every other emotion you can think of. (Note: There is a difference between disbelief and not believing!)

Mother Blame

Blaming the mother instead of placing the blame solely on the offender has a long history in our society and does not serve the best interest and protection of abused children. Women are primarily seen as the protectors and nurturers of children, so when it is learned that a child has been sexually abused, many people immediately blame the mother for “allowing the abuse to occur” or, “not paying close enough attention” to her children, without actually knowing the details of the case. “Where was the mother?!” is often the first question people think of when hearing of children being abused.

Abused ChildrenMothers of sexually abused children often feel that no matter what they do it is considered wrong by the legal system and society in general. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they react to their child’s disclosure of sexual abuse with anger and take steps to insure the safety and protection of their child, they may be called mean, hysterical or insane in court proceedings. Mothers who work to suppress their unmitigated rage, calmly carrying out the duties needed to protect their children, say they are accused of falsely accusing their child’s perpetrator.

A common tactic for defense attorneys in sexual abuse cases is to discredit and blame those who act to defend and protect the sexually abused child. It is much more successful to discredit and destroy the child’s defenders, especially the mother, by claiming the mother is insane or neglectful of her responsibility to protect her child.

Defense attorneys say that “if it had really happened, she would be enraged!” Yet, if the mother expresses that rage, she’s accused of being a nut case in court. Add to that the mothers who have believed and acted on their child’s disclosure of sexual abuse report that they have been disbelieved by those who evaluated the allegations including Child Protective Services (CPS).

It is one of the sad realities of our society, blaming mothers when a child is sexually abused. Mothers are placed in an impossible, no-win situation. No matter what she does, it seems wrong. Societal norms and expectations about the responsibility mothers bear for what happens inside their homes, and to their children outside the home, greatly influences society’s views towards mothers of sexually abused children.

The degree to which our cultural values may lead society to blame non-offending mothers “is exemplified” by the findings of Dietz and Craft (1980), who reported that most social workers believed that mothers are as responsible for the sexual abuse as the offender, despite the fact that 78 percent of the mothers in their study were being physically abused by the same offender who abused the child” (Massat & Lundy, 1998).

Mothers of Sexually Abused Children Need Support

Emerging research indicates that mothers of sexually abused children need emotional support, as they are often in a state of complete shock because of learning their child has been sexually abused. (Working With Mothers of Sexually Abused Children.pdf) As soon as mothers or parents make it known what has happened to their child, the relationship between these mothers and the rest of the world changes. (Corcoran, 1998)

End Sexual Abuse of ChildrenTo think or assume that mothers somehow “just know” that their child is being abused, or has already been abused, is ludicrous! Since sexual abuse often occurs within the home by a family member, does that mean mothers should not take showers, use the bathroom, SLEEP!, just to be on the “safe side”? If sexual abuse occurs during the time a pregnant mother spends five minutes on the phone to schedule a doctor’s appointment, should mothers stop using the phone too?!

How about this: Why don’t mothers just make sure all of her children are sleeping right next to her at night until their 18th Birthday, just to make sure abuse doesn’t happen while she’s sleeping?! (Included sarcasm intended)

UPDATE: When I originally wrote this article, I neglected to mention that some mothers DO molest children. That is appalling to me on every level. For those of you who have been molested or raped by your mother or grandmother, my heart goes out to you. Healing from sexual abuse IS possible for victims of child sexual abuse, whether the abuse was done by a mother or father/grandfather/uncle etc. There are many books on sexual abuse for survivors to find healing from the past, so that your present and future doesn’t have to marred and forever damaged by having been abused.

Further Reading:

Child Sexual Abuse – Facts vs. Myths
Why Don’t Kids Tell? Talking to Your Children about Sexual Abuse
Launching Child Safety and Child Sexual Abuse Series
Sexual Abuse Books-Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse-Healing Sexual Abuse
Child Molestation Prevention:Signs and Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual Predator Masquerading as Parent Blogger

Keeping Kids Safe

It has come to my attention that there is a sexual predator masquerading as a parent blogger in our midst, and is even an active participant on Entrecard in the Family/Parenting category. I’m furious! To think that I had unwittingly given this pervert advertising opportunities on my Entrecard widget in the past has me feeling enraged and sick to my stomach. It won’t happen ever again!

Having been a victim of sexual abuse myself as a child, and currently writing a series of articles on the subject, I am furious that this sorry sack of flesh would have the nerve to seek advertising on my blog and many others.

I have a message for you, Mr. Pervert! Stop requesting advert space on my blog, you will be denied! I know who you are and I know what blogs you own, so go crawl back into your snake hole and stay put! You are not welcome here! Having said that, it is important to note that not all male family bloggers are sex offenders, so I will continue to use Entrecard and enjoy discovering quality blogs and share advert space on my widget.

For legal reasons, and to respect the rights to privacy for the victim, please do not ask me who it is. I cannot tell you, although I would LOVE to, so you could deny his advert requests too! I can only hope that the officials of Entrecardhave been made aware, and it is my sincere hope that this maniac will be banned very soon, and have his cough, choke, spit…family blogs deleted from the Blogosphere.

The subject of sexually abused children is one that I take very seriously, and I’m working hard to bring you more informative articles to help you parents protect your children. Since I began the sexual abuse series, I have been inundated with emails from victims telling me their personal stories, especially since I know all too well what they went through. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse and want to talk to me, please use the Contact link at the top of my blog, and I will reply promptly.

I have heard from several mothers whose child was sexually abused while in school, daycare, church, by a relative or close family friend, and have asked me to write about the problems associated with “mother blame”. What is the first thing that crosses your mind when you hear about a child being sexually abused? Like many people, the question “Where was the mother?” is often the first thing that crosses people’s minds. Mothers are being vilified and ridiculed in society as being neglectful parents of these children, and it’s got to stop.

For the sake of child safety, it is imperative that parents learn the identifying characteristics of a pedophile, because these perverts are constantly using a variety of “grooming methods” to get close to children.

Further Reading:

The Profile of A Pedophile

Signs and Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse