Okay, now that I’ve freaked you out , ya wanna know more about what to do about situations like these in your own life? Remember, I don’t have some certification that makes me qualified to say these things, but I do have a lot of experience and a pretty good Helper. ;)
The best way to attack abuse, violence, and hurt is to be wise about what situations you (and your loved ones) are in. Pray for discernment, but don’t forget that the best place you can ever be is where God wants you to be. Don’t concentrate on being safe, concentrate on being HOLY.
A resource we use at the church to increase child safety is that we do background checks, applications, and interviews for ALL volunteers who work with the kids.Yep, even the ones who run tech and never actually interact with kids.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Please don’t be afraid to be awkard. I’ve found most kids don’t think things are weird, awkward, or silly until you tell them they are. It didn’t occur to me to be ashamed that I’d been abused until someone told me to be. I’m not a pro, but in all the experience I’ve had, kids raised with a straight forward, open approach to these things fair far better.
No secrets. My friend recently wrote a great blog about how her family talks about having “no secrets from mommy and daddy.” Establish SAFE BOUNDARIES. Teach your kids how to say “NO!”
Okay, sorry, all that was about kids. I really wanted this to seem more professional, but I just KNOW that as soon as I post this my trusty team of amazo-friends are going to respond with other resources so I’m just going to keep going.
Educate yourself on warning signs. I’d advise you NOT to assume ill based on hunches or signs, but to BE WARY and INVESTIGATE the situation. In ALL things, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you
If abuse has ALREADY occurred, the first thing you should do is PRAY. Pray every day all the time asking God to heal even what you think is impossible. Without Him, it DEFINITELY is impossible. So ask him! Then be willing to seek help and be help. My friend B wrote a great series on this here. (Check the June 2010 archives if you’re reading this late.) Remember that counseling is a tool, not a shameful last resort.
Do you have things to contribute? Questions to ask? Points to argue? PLEASE DO!