Teaching the Children About Cheese in the Trap
A recent news article shared the story of a 16-year-old who went missing in a wooded area near her school. Her friends and family were frantic to find out any information on where she might be, but quickly learned that the teenage girl had been held prisoner in a “trap” for months by an abusive boyfriend. Now her tormentors have been exposed and are being held accountable for her death.
This tragic story is all too common and there are countless other reported examples each and every year of young victims being held captive by their suspected abusive boyfriends, and sex offenders. Sadly, most victims do not receive the help they so desperately need. They either lose their lives or are seriously injured in an accident at the hands of their captors. A recent news article shared the story of a middle school student who was assaulted by her boyfriend while she was locked in her bedroom.
The teenage girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her boyfriend. She was locked in her bedroom for what seemed like an endless amount of time. When the girl’s mother asked the child’s teacher what could be done, she was told nothing. Police were not notified of the incident because it did not involve a student. The school failed to notify police of the attack, which meant that the perpetrator was free to roam the community and assault another child at random.
This is one of the numerous stories that I hear from other parents who have children with different types of sexual predators. Most victims believe that since the perpetrator committed his crime in a private residence that it will not affect them in any way. But, this is simply not true. A minor sex offense such as committing a felony can have devastating consequences for the victim’s social and personal life.
It is the responsibility of the public and educators to protect our children. In this instance, it appears that the school failed to do so. Perhaps, they were aware that the victim’s family was unaware of the situation. This lack of communication may have created a dangerous situation for the child and her peer group.
A similar situation arose in an elementary school in Connecticut where a student fondled a fellow student in the classroom. Police were contacted and the suspect was arrested. The school was aware that the incident may have created a dangerous situation for other students and the teacher. However, they failed to inform police of the potential problem that allowed the suspect to continue his depredations. It may seem that the teacher and the child were engaged in a “nepothetical scenario” but the potential for abuse is real.
The potential abuse in this example is obvious when you consider the victim’s age and the fact that she was only eleven years old. Although she has maintained her innocence throughout, the reality is that she allowed the young man to touch her inappropriately and she subsequently suffered from what we call a “sexual battery”. Many adults will argue that this is not a sexual battery because the touching was non-sexual. This may be true, but consider how easy it is to allow a child to become a victim when no consequences occur.
Sexual predatory behavior is no laughing matter. If your child permits a stranger to touch her inappropriately or if a parent permits such inappropriate conduct with their child, the resulting trauma can be extensive and long lasting. There may also be health issues associated with sexually abusing a child. This is why it is important to have an open dialogue with your child’s teachers and school officials.