As I scrolled through my FB news feed over the weekend, I noticed a very simple post: #metoo. At that point, I had read about the latest sex scandal in the news and was as disgusted as ever, but I didn’t realize #metoo was in response to that. Over the next few hours, more and more #metoo, #metoo started showing up in my feed.
After looking into what this viral movement was targeting, I was surprised to see the power being shifted from the abusers to those who have been hurt. Women and men were taking a stance to say they, too, had been sexually abused, assaulted, or harassed. Some people had even admitted that they had been the abuser.
It’s shocking to see the prevalence on #metoo, in just a few days. According to CBS, Facebook had “more than 12 million posts, comments and reactions in less than 24 hours.” I’m proud of the victims who have the courage to share their pain. I understand the people who have been hurt, but aren’t ready to open up about it on social media. I pray for the day where our culture isn’t so desensitized to abuse, assault, and harassment that it’s just another news story or viral hashtag that comes and goes.
It’s our jobs, moms and dads, to raise our kids right. We need to talk to our children.
- We need to teach them respect – for themselves, for their friends and enemies, and for strangers.
- We need to explain inappropriate words and touching, multiple times, adjusting the message to be age appropriate as they grow up.
- We have to teach our our children that “NO” or “STOP” is all they should have to say when they’re uncomfortable with the way someone (anyone!) is talking to them or touching them.
- We have to show our children that when someone tells them “NO,” they need to stop immediately and reflect on their actions.
- Most importantly, we need to give them a safe place to come home to so that if something horrible happens, they know they can confide in us.
Stopping abuse starts on the playground with the simplest of lessons – respect, boundaries, and communication.