One of the big news items this week in Israel is the rape of a 12 year old girl with Down syndrome. She was waiting outside a building for her father, and was drug forcibly and violated. Luckily the perpetrator was apparently caught. But of course that is not enough.
I have written about the need for awareness of the problem before (HERE).
ALL of our children need abuse-prevention education, and special-needs kids need it even more. Again, a few points:
- Usually the offender is not some weird-looking stranger, but someone that the child knows- a cousin, a brother’s friend, a family acquaintance, etc.
- Children need to be educated about :
1. their ability to say “NO!” (Ask the child which blouse they want the red or blue, and try to give them the one they didn’t ask for).
2. private areas (their own drawer), respect for privacy (knock on their door before entering), and private body areas (covered by a swimsuit)
3. good secrets and bad secrets, and to always tell Mom secrets, even if an adult says not to.
4. who it is appropriate to get gifts from
5. who to tell if someone touches them, tries to hurt them
6. what to do if someone tries to take them, tough them
A good start is Rav Horowitz’s lecture (see HERE).
- a one-time talk is not enough. Especially with special-needs children, repeats are needed. After this incident I AGAIN talked to Ricki. And I told her that there had been an incident. And this time I really think that she took it seriously.
- for special;-needs children/teens acting, puppets, and practicing reaction is imperative.
PLEASE DON’T WAIT. Educate your children TODAY!