Previously published on Yahoo Contributor Network Sep 17, 2008
If you are one of the millions of viewers who remember Oprah Winfrey's program about the proliferation of child pornography and the devastation of its victims, which aired on September 15, 2008, you probably are one of the ones who asked Congress to pass Bill 1738, the PROTECT Our Children Act. The Protect Our Children Act of 2008, became law numbered Pub.L. 110-401. Signed by the president on October 13, 2008 – and enacted – its mission is to put child predators in jail.
We are closer now than ever to becoming fully aware of the magnitude of these heinous crimes. We haven't always been. And though some of us sleep while our children are being abused in the next room, others engage in denial that allows them to avoid acting upon their suspicions, to reject actual evidence or to repudiate cries for help. We need to WAKE UP! We need to hold ourselves responsible for OUR CHILDREN.
The first time I became conscious of child predators was when I watched a movie about the disappearance of Adam Walsh. I was pregnant with my fourth child. I felt compelled to act on my desire to prevent other parents from experiencing the anguish John Walsh and his wife Revé endured. I especially wanted to do something to protect my own children.
You Are The Boss of Your Body: A Guide to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse is not just a book; it is a collaborative effort that involved many people in the field of child psychology and/or child abuse prevention. Admittedly, I had hoped to make some money from the sale of the book and once had an interested publisher. The publishing house excused itself from publishing the book, however, because I used anatomically correct terminology. I figured that parents could substitute, "private parts," if they felt uncomfortable using the actual words. The publisher thought otherwise.
Because I felt the book was important, I published it myself, but as my expertise lies not in the field of promotion or sales, I made very little sales and gave away many copies.
Today, as the years speed by, the number of pedophiles increases. I no longer sell this book - I give it away. I want to help prevent children from becoming victims of sexual sadists.
ABOUT THE BOOK
You Are The Boss of Your Body: A Guide to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse teaches children, through examples, how to handle themselves in potentially abusive situations. Black and white photographs, taken by an award-winning photographer, create an element of realism. In the early 1980s I contacted the (now defunct) Child Abuse Prevention Speakers Bureau and, with their help, put together this book.
It addresses such issues as pornography ("nobody has the right to take your picture if you feel funny about doing it") and molestation by parents and others close to the child. (In referring to taking a bubble bath - "I like it when Daddy uses a nice, soft, fluffy washcloth. Once Daddy used just his hands. I didn't like it when he did that.")
Other subjects include, "Comfortable Touches-Uncomfortable Touches," "Tell Somebody-Until Somebody Listens," "Fun Secrets-Scary Secrets," "Strangers and People you Might Know," "Your Doctor," "Funny Feelings," and "School Days."
The harsh material is handled very delicately. If the child has never been molested or raped, she will not understand the nuances. For instance, the book discusses putting something in a child's mouth that isn't food. Most children will think in terms of toys. The child who has been molested will know otherwise.
The book is meant to empower your child, to give him or her a voice. I want children to know they have the power to tell somebody what is happening to them. This book repeatedly tells them that they are the bosses of their bodies and they have the right to protect themselves.
Child abusers, molesters, and rapists will manipulate their victims into believing that what they are doing is acceptable. We need to join forces to protect these precious children from the trauma of incest, rape, and molestation, because every time we address a new problem, child predators engineer new tactics.
People who genuinely care about children want to do something to protect these innocent lives. I am one of those people. While this book discusses most of the topics discussed on that September, 2008, Oprah program, it cannot possibly cover every issue. If a father slips Rohypnol into his wife's drink before forcing it upon his children, Mom will never know what is happening in her own home. How can I address that issue in a book for children? The only suggestion I can make, if you think rape or incest is happening in your home, is to install hidden cameras.
Other than Bill 1738, the only other suggestion I would make - if I had the authority to do so - would be to band together to protect these children.
HOW TO GET YOUR FREE COPY
Anybody interested in receiving a free downloadable PDF file of You Are The Boss of Your Body: A Guide to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse is welcome to click the links provided in this blog. I may not be able to prevent all children from losing their innocence, but I can try.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR BOOK
When you receive your downloadable PDF file, print it out, staple it together, and read it to your child. But don't just read the book; engage the child in discussing the book. Make it a conversation.
Let's work proactively to prevent child abuse and, if it is too late, to recognize the signs of abuse. The Tennyson Center for Children provides information on how to recognize signs of physical and sexual abuse and includes behavioral and physical indicators. It also tells you how to report suspected abuse.
If you have neighbors, friends, or relatives who don't own a computer and want a copy, please print one for them. Share the book. Let's work together to protect our children from these manipulative sociopathic child abusers. If we can't stop child abuse, maybe together we can at least slow it down.