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Two years ago my 13 year old son attended a technology camp and was completely unprepared for what happened there. A counselor who had spent the previous week establishing "coolness" and trust with the kids asked his "help" in discovering who had was responsible for a video he had found on another camper's computer. The video contained underage teen pornography. The counselor asked him to view the video to see if he "recognized" anyone, then asked my child what he thought of it. My son answered gross and left the room as soon as he could.
As a parent, I had never even thought to address this kind of visual (or for that matter auditory) sexual abuse. As it turns out, many offenders don't touch a child first, they introduce the child to visual pornography under some ruse. Once they can get a certain comfort level established, the physical abuse begins.
The perpetrator was a technology consultant to more than one school district, a third year law student and board president of a technology education non-profit. Hundreds of child pornography videos were found in his house with a search warrant. He is now in jail.
I went to my two younger children and told them that "no touching" also extends to "no looking". I spoke to our elementary school counselor and principal and nothing along these lines is in the school curriculum.
I feel grateful that we dodged a more serious bullet. My heart goes out to all the families who suffer far more serious fates.
I don't think sex education needs to get too graphic for young kids. My mantra with my own children is, "If it is covered by underwear or a bra, no looking, no touching. Period." Curiousity is normal and healthy and we provide books to educate them about body parts and functions.
posted 3 years ago
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