Universal Precautions

With another page turned on the calendar and we race towards the end of the year there will be several events coming up where our children will likely be in many more social situations with different people than normal. Universal precautions should be utilized to protect them from grooming, or molestation. These precautions include the understanding that each individual involved with your child has a role, and with each role there are boundaries that you are within your right to define and you child has the right to add even more boundaries if they choose.

For example: Your extended family may be very close, and you are more involved with their lives. For those who are close you may allow car rides, movies, and other recreational activities. However, if you have the one family member that only shows up a few times in a decade although there is a familial bond, there should be a different set of boundaries.

The comparisons in the example above are stark however the principal holds true in all aspects of our lives. Our child’s doctor has different boundaries than a coach. A friend’s parents may have different boundaries than the grandparents may have. Some of your close personal friends may be more like family than your blood relatives therefore their boundaries may be less restrictive than with your blood relatives.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are molested before the age of eighteen.
  • Ninety percent of all child molesters know the child they target.
  • 34% of children are molested by members of their family
  • 40% of molesters are under the age of eighteen
  • Only one in ten children who are molested will ever tell

These statistics are stable. Stable meaning, they are consistent across socioeconomic, racial, geographic, and religious lines.

We live in a good neighborhood, nothing like that would happen here…… No, it happens in your neighborhood.

My family is <insert your race here> we don’t have that problem…. No, it happens within your race.

We live in <insert your area of the country here> we are safe here…. No, it happens in your state, county, town

We are not religious, so we have nothing to worry about…. No, it happens with all beliefs including those who have no belief

We attend <insert church affiliation here> so it isn’t a problem…. No, it is happening in the church you attend.

We need good watchmen in our lives. Are you one of them?

Sources:

  • American Society for the Positive Care of Children
  • Darkness to Light