One in four of our county’s daughters will face some form of abuse, verbal, emotional, physical or sexual from people around them by the time they are 25.
They face these assaults from family, friends or boyfriends.
One in six of our sons report the same.
Is it really necessary that we allow that?
The figure for young women has been published for decades. It seems to be a fact of the way we live, the way we treat one another.
Part of the answer is a better understanding of why people do such things to one another.
That allows potential victims to spot the people and the circumstances that will lead to abuse and avoid it.
They can learn these red flags from an number of programs available in our area.
The Rape Crisis Council of Pickens County is one of those. A council program called Safe Dates teaches middle schoolers about them and how to deal with those that abuse.
Another interesting approach to the Safe Dates sessions taught in our area is that it puts boys and girls together in the discussions. When the group discusses whether a particular action is considered abusive, boys are sometimes surprised to see the reaction of the girls.
Something the boys have come to see as acceptable – even at the tender age of 12 – is obviously offensive to the girls.
Seeing the response directly from their classmates often leads to a different understand than it does just hearing an admonition from an adult.
Another issue that has come to the attention of council workers in area schools is the advancement of danger arising through the Internet and particularly social media. It is easier to say something on Facebook than it is face to face. So after something has been stated in social media, it becomes difficult to face the reality in a meeting on the street.
Add to that the problems of not really knowing with certainty who our daughters and sons are communicating with online and the situation becomes truly dangerous. Even our sons and daughters can’t know with certainty whether they are talking online to a teen or a 50 sex offender.
Let’s not fool ourselves that we can effectively regulate our children’s access to online communications. We may for a time, but ultimately our children will find ways to test the waters.
That is why the ultimate answer is that they know the dangers.
They can learn about those through the concern of people like those that run the Rape Crisis Council of Pickens County. It can use your support to
The council is hold a silent auction April 26 to raise $20,000 to further its efforts. Consider your support @ pickensrcc.org.