She seemed “perfect “– But Something was Terribly Wrong!!! Why have I chosen my mission to keep Kids Safe? One little girl changed my life!!! This is my story: I am a licensed clinical social worker. Years ago I was a Guidance Counselor in a middle school and was fortunate to know an amazing 12 year old girl – she was a straight A student, class president, and often served as a role model for new students getting acclimated to the school. She came to my office one day and handed me a little magazine clipping – it read: My step-father has been sexually abusing me what do I do? I was stunned!!!
In my work, reports of sexual abuse were not uncommon, BUT in this situation I was thrown off guard as I didn’t detect any of the typical signs of abuse that the ‘textbooks’ teach us. She seemed “perfect”. We went through the procedures of reporting to the authorities and after a long hard battle the step-father finally went to jail. Later on in counseling I asked what prompted her to come forward at that time. She revealed that her step-father was showing interest in her 7 year old sister…..the age she was when he moved into her house and starting abusing her.
One of the most disturbing parts of this story is that her step-father was the co- president of our PTA – he had put himself in a position of authority in our school. He was banking on us doubting her claim. We believed her….Children do not lie about sexual abuse. This incident sent me from a world of reactive social work to proactive prevention education….. And KidSafe was born. I began teaching all children in the school prevention education – with the new realization that ALL children need information to help keep them safe. All children need to know they have rights! – The right to keep their bodies safe, the right to say NO, and the right to TELL. 90% of the time a child is abused it is by someone they know and trust….just like my student. However, 95% of abuse of children can be prevented through education.
We owe it to our children to give them the necessary life skills to be safe. One “Perfect” student changed the course of my life. You can help change the course of other children out there who may be suffering in silence. Please join our Mission to bring personal safety education to all children through our KidSafe Foundation.