“Do not tell parents” how to protect the child from the pedophile

Search and rescue unit “Lisa Alert” held a flash mob, inviting all to share stories from childhood related to meetings with pedophiles, with the hashtag #divinecaroline. How to teach a child to say “no” to tell him, other than scary stories, and on what grounds to determine what happened to him was terrible – says child psychologist Ksenia Jagodina and lawyer Alena Zelenovskiy.

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To read stories that people posted with the hashtag #definestatement, scary, disgusting, awful. Amazing and the scale of the disaster, and the repetitiveness of the plots, and wild, beyond the enormity of those who use children’s credulity, lack of knowledge, intimidation, and obedience.

Quite often, these episodes go away somewhere at the bottom of memory, and compassionate psyche hides them from us, not reminding about this for years. While those who lived through it, there are some strange difficulties in relationships with persons of the opposite sex, phobias, complexes, which they would normally not associate with those with which they are faced.

In many ways, the trauma depends told whether the child’s parents, how they reacted, whether the child knows about what to do what to do if she is familiar with security measures and so on. So we asked a psychologist and a lawyer to answer questions about pedophiles and I hope this will help you to protect your children.

Ksenia Jagodina, child and school psychologist
Dad took another, and they ran to find the guy who did it

– Why children often do not tell parents what happened to them?

Ksenia Jagodina

– Stories can be divided into two categories. In some cases, the child immediately told her parents about what happened (he offered to see the pictures, tried to drag to the basement, showed, asked to show, and so on), and saw their immediate reaction – they went to the police, or dad took a friend and they ran to find the guy who did it. That is, the child is not afraid to come and tell the parents what’s going on something fearful, and the parents showed their response that they are willing to protect him that his fear is not whims, they stand guard over the baby.

And then the child understands that what I feel is normal, because the parent is immediately demonstrated a different range of emotions, and it also allows him to process what he felt.

In the second category, stories of child, realizing that there was something, however, doesn’t tell adults anything, because he is afraid of the adult figure, afraid to say no, afraid to describe what happened. He is paralyzed and fear because of what happened, and afraid of reaction of parents. These storytellers are etched with guilt, feeling that they are to blame for the incident. This guilt, combined with the inability to tell others about it and talking about the trauma. The trust and ongoing demonstration that the parent side of the child, reduce the chances that he won’t, but, unfortunately, does not guarantee that the child will tell.

Those children who asked for help and who defended the parents, had the opportunity of processing the experience. He remained somewhere in the back of his mind, not vitasnella, because it was worked out with the parents. And if the child is not left alone with these experiences, it will be easier to process this trauma. It happens that the processing of traumatic experience is delayed. And this is the situation, when this experience is displaced to somewhere outside of consciousness and then POPs up. Someone is at the same place, the detail of the case, for example, the balloon man-like appearance…

It is not always what is wrong with the baby and that he was not told about parents, indicating their responsibility for the incident.

I would very much like to see the parents felt guilty that they did not think that if their child such a thing happened and it hurt, then I, as a parent, are responsible for it.

Not always a parent by their actions, can one hundred percent to ensure that the child is in this situation came and told me. Sometimes the fear of the child is so big that even if you trust the host family relationships for the child to talk about it. It happens that he does not have enough words or something to describe what happened. So I want to emphasize that for the fact that this situation has occurred with a child, responsible only to the rapist.

Said nothing to the parents. Nothing at all. From a vague sense that it’s me, I am guilty, I did wrong, do not understand that, but to blame will be me. You’re a child, so any episode with an adult you’re always to blame.

In any of these situations I haven’t been able to stand up for themselves or tell someone, I fell into a stupor, I was ashamed, and I thought that will make me guilty and to blame.
I really want children told from a very early age that their body is inviolable, that we need to be able to say NO to adults and to signal in all sorts of situations.

Are unable to communicate freely and become freezed cucumber

– What in these stories is traumatic to the psyche of the child?

– It is difficult to say who is more traumatic, because each person is different, and we never can predict what a thing is and how who will be affected. Sometimes, you raised the child’s voice – and all the trauma for life and another shout all day, and enough internal forces to process it. So with these situations.

On the one hand, each has its own characteristics of the psyche, each differently constructed. On the other – affect the overall situation, in which the child is growing as he tells about the different experiences in the family, how the child has good contact with your emotions and body, does he realize that he was doing something wrong, as far as he is aware.

He may not understand what happened, not to feel that it was used, and then the wound is, for example, the three-year decided that it just went to the toilet, he still does not understand the other meaning of the action, and this episode he never rebelled. But if the injury takes place, be sure to go to a psychologist, it is important to find out the feelings of guilt of the child and the parent.

– How to understand what the child is injured in such a situation?

Is seen in:

– sleep disturbances, appetite

– increase aggressiveness

– abrupt changes in school performance,

– the child appears obsessive desire all the time to wash,

– he abruptly became scared to be alone

– he became afraid of all strangers, or one specific friend, or all of the men became afraid to sleep,

– in its games and drawings appeared the subjects that you guard,

– the child began to be afraid of touching.

– What are the implications of such cases for a child?

Unfortunately, the palette of what can happen to a child as a result of meeting a pedophile are very wide. It may even cease to trust people, in adulthood, he can begin or afraid of intimacy, or, conversely, to engage in promiscuity, which he will be unhappy, but will not understand why he does it. It can be difficult to build partnerships, he can experience a very high concern for their own children, to be prone to depression and attempt suicide.

This episode surfaced in therapy, when we talked about the problems with personal life, that I can’t, in principle, to meet with strange men, unable to freely communicate, become frostbitten cucumber – I see them in the default hidden threat – well, still, surprise is just how I have never in thirty years these two things have not guessed somehow linked in cause and effect. And I kinda have not displaces, because all these years I remembered very well what it was, suddenly the day she sobbed with pity for the helpless defenseless girl.

If children complained, they were told: “He is guilty”

– Why children sometimes do what they said the pedophile, although I understand that there is something wrong?

– In some stories of those who survived it, tell me what they were going for a rapist, as if hypnotized. The reason is that in situations that the body interprets as a threat, he has three strategies – freeze, run, fight, and the selection is done automatically, it defies comprehension.

And if the child triggers a “freeze” he freezes, sometimes even so that it cannot leave this state. I froze, I was like no, no one can see me, I do not exist, so nothing bad will happen. And subsequently due to the fact that they did not resist, victims of violence sometimes creates a strong feeling of guilt. It is a very deep mechanism, which is not always possible to interrupt.

There are simple techniques return a contact with itself, for example, trouble breathing, do 5-10 breaths, lean on something, pinch yourself, to massage fingers, ears. It can be taught without linking it to a situation of danger – this equipment work in a situation when you see that the child has lost contact with reality, became hysterical, freaking out.

The child will listen to another adult, if he used that in the garden, at school, he feels the abuse by adults, and no one protects.

Flashmob “Lisa Alert” shows that in our childhood these crimes bloomed to full flower. Why? I think because in General the whole system of education was based on the fact that the public interest is more important than personal, the children were in state custody, beginning with the manger, all of these systems – kindergartens, schools – were partly closed, there occurred different, including, as we now know, traumatic for kids cases. The children were in the nursery often when they are even because of their age could not fault their adult what is happening there.

A large number of my peers says that in the garden as punishment they were exposed naked on the window sill with the window open, was sealed with tape her mouth, forced to eat the food that the child was sick, and so on. In these systems, usually there were a lot of violations in relation to the body of the child, his security was very rude to trespass. But to complain was not accepted. If children complained, they were told: “He is guilty”. The parents very rarely went to protect the child. And if there was some sort of abuse, the child often didn’t even occur to you that you can go to complain. Still it was customary for adults to obey: “You’re like talking to an adult?” Adult has always been the default rights, so such episodes, of course, was very much.

Photo: Shutterstock

I’m not going to say that we now have totally improved their health – of course, still enough of these stories. But first, parents began to take a closer look at what is happening with their children. Second, they began to read the literature. Thirdly, the parents began to notice indirect signs: “With my child something not so, about what it can speak?” – if he goes, for example, in a kindergarten. Finally, changed the age of entry to kindergarten, now it’s usually three years, and the child at this age are talking and can tell parents if something is wrong, getting to experience their reactions to the future, feeling their protection.

Parents began to complain, not to be silent if their child did something wrong. And I think the people who work with children, began to behave with an eye on this factor. So I started to change a rule in General. Now no one would think to say that to put a naked baby on the window sill in kindergarten – this is normal. And, as a result, the child feels more secure, not so unconditionally submits to an adult stranger as before.

Don’t blame the child tattling and don’t leave him alone with problems which he cannot solve.

Another important setting from childhood, which prevents children to talk about what happened to them is a prohibition on tattling. In our childhood to tell meant “squeal”, to show weakness. We are now parents and kids say in school: “If you do not cope with a situation if you told the person “no” and he can’t hear you, what are your options? To let his fists? In school, we don’t fight. Please call the adult”. It is important that the adults left the child the opportunity to talk about what happened, and said, “sort it out yourself, not Benicia” or “Scammer first whip”. Unfortunately, this is a very hardy patterns.

I say no, and don’t bother me – it is the norm

– What to teach the child at different ages, so he could confront violent situations?

– First, the child must understand that his body is inviolable and that others should not violate his boundaries. Accordingly, he must understand that if someone violates those boundaries, it is a dangerous situation. It is therefore very important in infancy not to force the child to go to the hands of the people to whom he does not want to go, not to push it forcibly the food when it is still small and learning these skills.

So we show him a little more, that respect the boundaries of his body, his desires and needs are important. At any age the child should have the right not to cuddle with relatives, if he doesn’t want to kiss them and not even to go to the mother on the handle, when it is not necessary. There are times when the child ran into the roadway, and we carried him up to he did not, thus violating his boundaries, but they must be exceptional.

And even if mom realizes that now he will calm down if you get it on your hands, but he says “No!” – it is important not to pick him up, wait until he gets here. The child in the head need to line up a causal relationship: I say “no,” do not touch me, this is the norm, as it should be. Sometimes that grandmother is offended – “I call him, want to hug, and he goes,” but you have to explain to them: Yes, if he now does not want to – so no, that’s all. It is important to stop them aloud to the child heard and knew his body and he chooses a distance.

So you and the child, and family broadcast that no means no. And it is possible to educate not only the example of relatives: fit another child tries to touch it, your don’t like it, and you say this to another child: “Sorry, OLE doesn’t like you to touch it”.

Told my mom this story not so long ago, after I turned 30, during a bitter dispute about daughters, about why I allow her too much, why it grows unruly, audacious, self-willed. “Because! – I screamed and cried until hiccups, because if it is, I’ll drive to the barn for some unknown reason – maybe just to remove the pants, and maybe rape, and perhaps kill – because in this case at least she won’t go silently and obediently, like enchanted flute doomed rat!”

“You’d think mom said that it would protect her in case if she wants someone to drag away by force. Children still have to obey”. God, I thought in despair, Oh, how firmly sitting in our parents.

Further, from an early age it is necessary to impose an iron rule that briefs to the child can only look the doctor in the mother’s presence. At a certain age children can become curious as to how they are arranged, they can start to pry each other, there’s no need to scold, this is an important step, you just have to gently say, that to do so is not accepted: “Those body parts we usually each other do not show. We specifically wear the pants, adult women wear bras on the beach, swimwear, because this show is not accepted”.

Usually by the age of seven, when children go to school, they learn different social norms. The seven-year-old on the beach is almost always shy, and if he six could change without changing cabins, is closer to the school, he said, “No, give me a towel,” it means that he has internalized a social norm and now knows that certain parts of the body do not show.

Should children tell all

In three or four years the child should know the names of all the parts of his body, and in regard to the genitals it does not have to be pseudo-scientific terms – you need to focus on how the family decided to call them. It is important to ensure that he could explain that he was trying to do something, did there is something there. At the same age can and should teach the child safety rules on the street, the fact that anyone anywhere is allowed to leave.

Before five years it is already possible to teach a child “no, go, tell”: if there is something wrong, he must first say “no”, then leave, and then tell you. Relatively speaking, Vanya touches Kolya, Vanya said to him: “don’t touch me”, nick continues, then the van is leaving this situation and talking about it like an adult. The same pattern should happen when someone, for example, is trying to get him away from the Playground: he is offered candy, he says no, if the adult continues to insist on it, he stands back and tells the parent or adult nearby (whom you should ask for help in a situation of a platform it is likely an adult with a child) about it out loud.

Photo: Unsplash

A child of five could have to explain that there are bad secrets – when someone has done wrong and asks him not to talk about it to others, or somebody has done something bad with him. It is important that the child always had the choice to request that someone something is not to say, they were not perceived as an unconditional instruction. Teach your child that when he will say: “do Not say,” he answered, “I think”.

Of course, the kids have secrets, but it should always be his choice, and not an indication of the other person. Any formulation like “let’s not tell mom”, “don’t tell your mom”, “don’t tell your parents” threat for all age groups and situations.

The beatings in the garden – “don’t tell mom and that will be worse”, when the teenager incite dangerous: drugs, the group of death – “don’t tell my parents or else they will be” or “what are you, little Mama say”, the scandal with the “psychological” center, where abused children, demanding: “don’t tell my parents, they know and approve of”, and of course pedophilia with different options – “don’t tell mom she still does not believe/will you blame/get upset” – it’s a situation of the same order. This manipulation aimed to make out of the one who, because of age and experience can understand the situation, to call a spade a spade and to protect the child.

I am far from thinking that children have to tell their parents – of course not. And he may have the secrets with other relatives, teacher, friends. But if someone incites the child not to speak to you, teach him to run out of these relations and to go to adults for help. All of the above formulations is manipulation, it is important to convey that message to him. And it is important for the child to listen and not to blame, if it came with something serious.

In seven years you can play with your children in a game: draw the child and around the first circle, the second, the third. In the circles you place them with different people. The first is the closest, whom he implicitly trusts, the second – those with whom he comes in contact with you or with your permission, and in the third – all the other people with whom he never leaves and immediately runs for help, if they want something. And ask him questions: who can you open the door if there are no adults home? In what round will put a grandmother? Adults from a circle can pick you up from school, when suddenly my mom got home? What are you going to do if I receive an adult, not entering the circle of trust? And it is important to teach him what to do in these situations: to call parents, refer to the security saying that they’re not my parents and parents are not warned that this man will take me.

9, 10, 11 years it is important to talk about all the changes that happen to the body. At the same age the child can already interested in specific issues related to the relations between the sexes. This interest occurs in several stages.

First question – where are the children, and a three year old child can tell that they come from mommy’s belly, usually this information is in this age rather. Then in 6-7 years – someone earlier, someone later raises the question of how children end up in the belly and can tell that two cells are connected, without unnecessary details. Then the child understands that sex is not only in order to have children, and then we say, “Yes, this is one of the types of relations between a man and a woman, it is for adults, yet not for you.”

In my practice there were boys who 10, 11 years old, have watched pornography, so perhaps it is the age at which you can say that pornography is a whole industry that does not show the reality, and that it is not worth watching.

With older adolescents of both sexes is important to say, first, about the voluntary – you do only what you want to do, secondly, about contraception and, third, in General, about the relationship of the real and unreal, about what is a relationship, about love, about responsibility, what the relationship is safe, what is dangerous and so on.

You can gently explain about adult men who are interested in children and adolescents. Important point: a story about the horrors should not be preceded by a common understanding about relations between the sexes, security, about the consent.

About the sexual harassment can be to speak with 12-13 years, we can tell you about the age difference, asking: if this is a situation where an adult and you, please, tell me necessarily.

He shows the child his power

– How to explain to a young child than to end his withdrawal with a stranger?

– I think it depends on the age. The child is 3-5 years, we can ask: “why do you think you can’t leave, stranger?” Most likely, the child will say, “Because I’ll never see”. Him this is enough, it is not necessary to draw any horror, because he needs the mother around. The older child can say: “You can hurt, you can hurt” – without specifics.

Psyche is so arranged that any actions when a person is used to satisfy sexual desires without his will, even if no one is touched, it can be interpreted as rape.

This refers to any action that violates the boundaries: touching, peeping, demonstration of their bodies. The world health organization defines sexual violence as “any sexual act or attempt to commit it; unwanted sexual comments or advances; any action against human sexuality using coercion, perpetrated by any person regardless of his relationship with the victim, in any place, including home and work, but are not limited to”.

We are talking about power, coercion and exploitation, and about actions against someone who can’t resist – my baby is default. The psyche is a mysterious thing and that she would perceive as violence in this situation and what not to say in advance is difficult, it depends on many factors. But in General – what happens when a pedophile commits any action in respect of a child – he shows the child his power: “I am free to show you all what I want”, not interested in his desires, and thus turns the child into an object.

Any situation where you are using without asking is a form of violence.

And so if we, the adults in these situations can resist – to fight, to escape, to call for help and so on, our mind can not perceive it as violence. But the child of such resistance have almost never can.

Trauma from childhood abuse can “come out” and after a long time. It happens that the child did not understand that the violence occurred, and realized it only when he grew up, received information and rethink your experience. And then it might hurt retroactively.

My aunt had a husband who, when we were at their house, sometimes held his hand between my legs, I, of course, the tights were. As if by accident. Remember this throughout your childhood years up to 10 accurately. But what is chance? All became clear when a little older. I was silent because I would not have believed and would be whipped, what I’m talking about say stupidity, because I so often flew.

The Lawyer Alain Zelenovskiy
If the person said, “Girl, come on, I’ll give you candy” – it is a crime

– What determines the severity of such crimes against children and, consequently, the punishment?

Alena Zelenovskiy

All the articles relate to forcible, indecent assault, rape, enclosed in Chapter 18 of the Criminal code “Crimes against sexual freedom, sexual inviolability”. In relation to adult women we are talking about sexual freedom against minors – sexual inviolability. All such crimes (rape, indecent assault, other sexual assault) against children are divided into degrees of severity depending on the age of the child: the victim from 14 to 16 years, from 12 to 14 or less than 12 years.

According to the note to article 131 children under the age of 12 years, are equal to persons in a helpless state, since because of their age do not understand the nature and value of committed their actions. They belong to the category of particularly serious crimes, and the punishment for committing them is 20 years imprisonment.

– Whether a mitigating circumstance the fact that the child consented to these actions for some reason?

The compulsion to actions of sexual nature are considered to be any action – blackmail, threats, threats with violence, threats, damage of property, seizure of property, as well as entreaties, promises – anything that causes the victim to some action is a compulsion. And the crime is considered ended from the moment of the utterance. If someone said, “Girl, come with me, I’ll give you candy” – it is a crime.

Because any crime against a child under 12 years is treated as violent, the consent of a child of this age does not taken into account.

– Which provides for liability if the offender did not touch the child?

If not touched, then his act qualifies as sexual abuse – is any action of the perpetrator that lead either to receive sexual gratification, or urge the victim to sexual arousal. And again, if we are talking about actions in relation to children under 12, it is not dissolute actions and violent acts of a sexual nature.

To commit acts of debauchery are all cases in which the perpetrator and the victim do not touch each other: exhibitionism, demonstration of appropriate pictures, please show your genitals and so on. All this, too, is a crime (article 135 of the criminal code), depending on the age of the victim – from minor offenses to very serious crimes punishable by a term of imprisonment up to 15 years (if the child is under 14 years of age, these crimes are least serious, and if less than 12 particularly serious).

That is an exhibitionist who came to the Playground where there are children under the age of 12 years may be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Moreover, in practice there are no mitigating circumstances. The court, of course, that is taking into account, but the punishment is always linked to the deprivation of liberty. These penalties do not apply for parole, and after their departure all the time of a previous conviction (for felony maturity of 10 years) for a man who has served the punishment determined by the administrative oversight.

I want to touch on another important point about compensation of moral harm. If we are talking about a child, here we can take very large amounts of compensation for moral damage, because the child, of course, for life disturbed psyche, parents are turning to the experts.

– How the law treats crimes, when the child touched or forced to touch yourself if there are any reservations and mitigating factors?

– If the offender has touched a child or forced to touch yourself, it will be either forced to perform sexual acts, or other acts of a sexual nature with a person under the age of majority, or sexual abuse, or sexual intercourse.

Here, unlike the previous article, there is a clause in the note: if the age difference between victim and offender less than 4 years, not the penalty of deprivation of liberty, and, if the person is a first offender, married with the victim and her 16 to 18 years old, he is exempted from criminal liability. But these notes still imply voluntariness.

In addition, the qualifying circumstance – that is, determining the severity of the crime – is pregnancy or infection with a venereal disease, it translates to a crime, for example, from the category of medium gravity serious.

– Tougher penalties for these crimes in comparison with Soviet times?

– Since the beginning of 2010 years, changes to strengthen these penalties, probably due to the fact that parents are much more likely to ask for this matter to the police. Earlier often silent, it was considered almost a disgrace, now parents have become more brave, and complaints has become much more.

In General, the punishments for these items from the Soviet era as a whole have become much more. In the Criminal code of the USSR of sexual crimes against minors (excluding rape) provided for periods not exceeding 3 years. For rape of a minor (age less than 14 years), the maximum penalty was the death penalty.

Ksenia Knorre Dmitrieva

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