Before I relate a life lesson I learned I want to tell you about a group a friend made me aware of https://www.facebook.com/ SomeSecretsShouldNeverBeKept. It was on this page I discovered that it is National Child Protection Week in Australia. Isn’t it something that a country has Child Protection Week? Meanwhile here we are in the United States trying to get Erin’s Law passed in all 50 states. I hate to sound like a broken record but I am going to ask you again if you have not yet gone to the map, https://www.facebook.com/ErinsLaw/photos/ and checked the status of your state PLEASE do so today. Children are well worth the little time it will take you. If your state has not passed this law yet get on the phone and/or write letters to your Senators and Representatives. Erin Merryn is working hard let’s join her in this fight. I also want to let you all know the web address for an awesome source of materials to teach children about body safety http://somesecrets .info/parents/. Both the website and their Facebook page have so many free resources to help educate children to avoid being sexually abused.
Today I want to talk to you about listening to your gut. Survivors have a unique ability to see or feel when someone else is in trouble. We can heed the call or put it on mute. Years ago I was working with a group of children. There were a few sisters in the activity. One of the girls said something about being spanked was better than some other stuff. I got a feeling up my spine that bothered me. I asked her what she meant and she laughed and said, “Nothing. I was just kidding around. I would rather get spanked for something my little sister did than have her get hit.” She refused to say any more. I thought of talking to her mother but I knew this family. I let myself believe the “surely not them” lie. For some reason we think bad things can’t happen to people we love.
It was not long after that day I found out that these girls had been abused by their step father. Their mother, brave woman that she was and is got him sent straight to jail. She also put her girls in therapy. I am happy to report the family is well and the wonderful mother is now a mother in-law and a terrific grandma as well. The whole family is serving the Lord in some way.
I will never know if my saying something would have saved the girls a moment of pain but what I did learn from that was never again would I put the mute button on my intuition. Years down the road I took my son, Jesse to Shelly’s, his school friend, to hang out. The teenagers were listening to music and playing darts in the garage. The grown ups were inside at the kitchen table. One of the girls came in and sat on a 39-year-old man’s lap. He got this evil look in his eyes and informed us he had been having the best sex in his life. My husband and I both told him what we thought. I got my husband home before one of us would have ended up in jail. We wanted to smack that look off his face so badly. The next day I went about informing every one of what had transpired the night before. The girl’s mother that had been absent was put on notice and the man’s family was told that he had better keep away from the girl.
Now I would do things a little differently. I would call 911 as soon as I get home or from a cell phone. I would also make an emergency phone call to CPS. Additionally, I would call the school and let them know that while I am aware they can not reveal information I have some to pass on and child needs observed for changes in behavior. If you thought I was going to leave you hanging and not tell you more about the girl I will not be that cruel. One day I was doing errands and I heard my name being called. I looked at the face of a beautiful young lady. She said, “Ester You don’t recognize me do you? It’s Shelly, Jesse’s friend from school. I just want you to know you were the only one that ever cared about me. Thank you for standing up for me. I graduated high school and I am about to start college.” I was so grateful for running into her. Isn’t something how God lets things like that happen some times? If you ever hear that voice calling out to you please do not put it on mute. Listen to it and react accordingly. We may be the only one willing or able to speak on the behalf of a child.