I echoed this phrase in the minute I saw the first post. I have never shied away from my experiences. While they were horrible and painful and I wish they had never happened, they have become a part of who I am.
“By random men in public all my life.
By a cousin when I was 8.
By the higher schooler on the bus when I was 12.
By my dad when I was 14.
By drunk men when I was a hostess at 16.
By fellow servers when I was a waitress at 18.
By a friend’s best friend at a party when I was 18.”
I watched the rest of the evening Sunday, and all the way through Monday morning. My timeline is FLOODED with my friends, loved ones, family members, and a handful of strong men, sharing and joining in the overwhelming chorus; “me, too”.
I joined for myself and I joined for my kids. I believe in a world where they won’t have to say, “me, too”.
Because are you watching your friends post these two simple words and feeling uncomfortable?
Sit in that discomfort. Let that discomfort change your heart.
How do we raise children who don’t have to say me, too? How does this change how we parent?
This isn’t new.
This has been going on for centuries.
But what does this mean for me as a mother? How do we break this cycle of abuse?
I have one daughter, and two sons. Having been a victim of sexual abuse and harassment, I understand that it has changed the way I parent them.
Consent has been a word used from a very young age in my house.
As early as 1 year we are explaining body autonomy and discussing that no one is allowed to touch them without their permission.
This doesn’t follow a gender rule in any way. BOTH sexes must be taught this, both sexes must be taught to honor it.
When our children are away from us, and they return back, we always ask them “did you feel safe?”
We hope that this will establish a safe space to discuss anything that may have happened, but more than that, we believe we will be able to sense a shift in their response. Was my mother a bad mother because these things happened to me?
But my mother also never expected behavior from the hands of the people who were my abusers.
This puts me at a heightened sense of security with who is allowed to be alone with my children. Some people still don’t understand this, and I don’t expect them to. But protecting my children is my highest priority.
We MUST speak for those who are silent. We must demand more respect for our children. We don’t want them to ever have to join in our chorus of victims.
Join the cause to break the silence and work to raise better kids
Use hashtags #MeToo #ButNotThem on social media and share this post to help other parents make a positive change.
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Read more about 5 ways you can raise kids to put an end to sexual harassment.
Redeemed Daughter of the King. Wife to Caleb. Momma to Scarlette, Carsten, and Declan. Recovering Legalist. Avid Book Reader.