http://parentingteens.about.com/od/travelwithteens/ss/teen_vacation_7.htmIt’s not domestic violence awareness month, intimate partner violence awareness month, or date rape awareness month, but it should be. Young teenage females heading off to the beach alone and unchaperoned are entering the perfect environment to become victims of one or all three of the above mentioned crimes.

When I was 18, I graduated from high school on a beautiful Friday night in late May. By the next Friday, I had been beaten, kicked, threatened, and verbally assaulted in Ocean City, Maryland. My abuser was not a stranger. He was a boy who I had been dating for approximately 5 months. He was a boy my mother trusted to treat me with respect and care. He was a boy who many people in the community loved and respected. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was a preditor 22 years ago and remains a predator today.

Why am I sharing this? Because anyone can be a predator and any young woman could be a victim. It does not matter if your daughter or niece or granddaughter is the valedictorian of her graduating class, homecoming queen, a scholarship recipient, or a basketball star, she could be a victim. And predators come in all shapes and sizes, too. He could be the MVP of the football team, the class president, or the boy who sits with you and your family at church every Sunday. As a parent or guardian, you can’t trust the facade of anyone when it comes to the safety and protection of your young daughter.

So what do you do as a parent or guardian? It’s simple: stay connected. Ask questions. Listen. Get to know the boy’s family. Demand your daughter adheres to her curfew. Use Skype or FaceTime every chance you can. Use GPS on her phone to track her every move. Ask the boy not to go to the beach the same week your daughter goes or go with them. Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa can be there without ever being seen or without causing too much embarrassment for their children. What’s worse? Temporary embarrassment or being assaulted, kicked and chased on a deserted beach late at night, being smothered in your pillow, and begging for your life?

Stay safe. Have fun during senior week. Protect yourself. Protect your children.

Namaste!

Category:
abuse, domestic violence, Family, Friends, Relationships
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Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I think of this type of thing all the time with my stepdaughter. your post also made me think of the current popular trilogy “Shades of Grey” in which a naive woman ends up spending time (falling in love??) with a controlling man. It has really concerned me when I see women posting reviews on amazon.com that this is a great example of their daughters for romantic love. As experienced women, we need to be the champions and protectors of young women.

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    • Absolutely!! I think 50 Shades of Grey is the antithesis of our message. It’s insane that women think it’s such a wonderful series. It is so far away from what real love is that women are setting themselves up to be victimized if they believe that it’s about love. I won’t read it but think I may just so I can provide a proper review. 😦

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  2. it seems to always be the ones that come across as an “upstanding citizen” sorry that happened to you, awesome that you are speaking out about it!

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    • The guy has been in and out of jail for 22 years. And still, there are people out there who love him and have pity on him because he had a poor home life as a child. I don’t know why it’s okay for him to keep doing this to women. With this logic, I should be able to go around punching men in the face whenever I feel like it because one punched and beat me as a child. It’s craziness! 😦

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    • it is, it seems the law always errs on the side of the guilty, while the innocent are guilty until proven innocent…so frustrating…where is justice?!

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    • There is no justice for victims of abuse. They need to kill us before anything is done. 😦

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    • yes and even then at times things aren’t done…

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  3. Thank you for this post, Paula! Teen dating violence is such an important issue for parents and teachers to be aware of. Have you seen this study on middle schoolers and violence? Honestly, the numbers surprised me for 7th graders…http://www.rwjf.org/vulnerablepopulations/product.jsp?id=74129

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    • Becky, thank you for sharig the study. I find it ALMOST hard to believe. Young girls and boys think they’re indestructable. (I know; I’ve been there.) More can’t be said about this issue. If not stopped, the predators gain confidence and continue their abuse long into adulthood. There is rarely proper justice. I’d rather it not happen to anyone’s daughter.

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