Sharing Notes

Many, many months ago I went to a Women in Faith Lecture in my ward that was centered around a faith journey involving sexual abuse. The friend who talked about it made some really good points that I was re-reading in my notes today and thought I should share with anyone interested.

A few random points:

+ 2 Nephi 7:11 - leaning on other people doesn't always work. You need to light your own fire

+ Sometimes members of our church heal too quick - it's a longer process

+ Therapy was great but a piece was missing - figuring out how to love your enemy

+ Figuring out spiritual identity and what you need to do to be happy spiritually (I remember her specifically talking about going to the temple each week and how important that was to her. Recently I was feeling quite unsettled and upset and a quick trip to to the temple did the trick)

How to be aware of sexual abuse, things to discuss with your kids etc:

+ Talk frankly about things. Tell your kids that their swimsuit area is off limits except for mom and dad
+ Talk about supervision with your spouse. (I remember her mentioning that the super bowl is a terrible day for sexual abuse. Always know where your kids are and who they are with)
+ Help your kids to develop intuition about people - instead of saying "give this person a hug!" say "you can give them a hug if you want to"
+ Be calm in your reactions to any story or detail shared. This way they know you won't be upset if they tell you something big
+ Developing sense of self - teaching them they are a child of God that is valued and important
+ Teach them things to say if someone tries to touch them "You're not mother, don't take me" (although I totally see this one backfiring sometimes as I'm sure Alta would have screamed that at me at Costco if she could have)
+ Have a code word. At Dave's house it was "toothache." If one of the kids called and said they had a "toothache," their mom knew something was up. It's perfect because no one can tell if you actually have one or not.
+Find a positive way to talk about sex
+ Not demonizing strangers. More important, watch out for sneaky people. Adults never need your help. Good people you know can do bad things, not just strangers.
+ Don't let your fear get in the way of talking about it

Alta is still too small to understand any of this but I can tell it will be something we'll start talking about in the next year.


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