Since Halloween is coming up very soon it is a good time to talk about the boogie man and monsters in general. The boogie man in many cultures is the embodiment of all fear for children. He is the monster you hide from and believe your parents will protect you against.
Here are some statistics from the Crimes Against Children Research Centre:
3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimised by someone they knew well
Only 14% of children who suffered sexual abuse were violated by an unknown perpetrator
60% of children are sexually abused by someone in their social circle
I researched these statistics and am writing this post because it occurred to me yesterday that my mother and father would never allow me to be alone at home even in my twenties.
I remember coming home for holidays when I was studying and living on campus at university. I would be very indignant when my mother would insist that I had to go out with them or have my younger brother stay with me so that I wouldn’t be alone in the house in the middle of the day!
“No, it’s too dangerous. Anything could happen!”
How ironic then, are terms like ‘Stranger Danger’ in light of the above statistics; children it seems are much more likely to suffer abuse at the hands of the people who live with them. Fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers! I am not saying here that only men are the perpetrators of abuse, but merely referring to my own situation and that of people I know.
How painfully ironic that my mother and father should worry about some stranger breaking down the door to attack their daughter while they are away when I was in more danger when they were around.
When I was five my father sexually abused me and my mother said and did nothing to protect me.
Young children need to be made aware of the dangers they face not only from strangers, but from their own families and friends of the family!