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  1. #1
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    Default *Trigger warning* WDYT? No male babysitters?

    Saw this artice online this morning.

    Not sure what i think... My first thought is that it's going a bit far, but maybe I'm naive? Those stats make for some uncomfortable reading.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/life...23-gujn4f.html

    Do you let men babysit kids by themselves?

    Fot the non clickers.

    "Why I won't let any male babysit my children

    When our first daughter was born my husband and I made a family rule: no man would ever babysit our children. No exceptions. This includes male relatives and friends and even extracurricular and holiday programs, such as basketball camp, where men can have unrestricted and unsupervised access to children.

    Eight years, and another daughter later, we have not wavered on this decision.

    Group slumber parties are also out. When there is a group of excited children it is far too easy for one of them to be lured away by a father or older brother without being noticed.

    When my daughter goes on play dates I make sure that she will be supervised by a woman at all times. So far she has only slept at one friend's house. Beforehand I spoke to my friend about our rule and clarified that if she's going to pop out to shops for example and intends to leave our daughter in the care of her husband or another man then the sleepover cannot happen.

    As you can imagine, this was not an easy conversation to have. To my friend's credit she respected our family policy even though she doesn't have the same rules herself. In subsequent play dates and sleepovers my friend has rearranged logistics so that she can be present at all times.

    I am certain that some of my other friends and acquaintances would not react so graciously and would see my request as a direct attack on their husbands and/or their parenting choices. I am dreading the day when I have to have the same conversation with someone who will not be as understanding.

    Would I prefer to be a more chilled out parent? Absolutely.

    Will I change my family policy? Unfortunately no. Child sexual abuse is so prevalent that I won't back down on my no-male-babysitters policy.

    To be clear, I'm not saying that all men are sexual predators. Nor do I think that men harbour predatory instincts that lie dormant only to spring forth at the first opportunity.

    But child abuse by men is so common that taking precautions to keep my daughters safe is a no-brainer.
    According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies the prevalence of child sexual abuse is 1.4-8 per cent for penetrative abuse and 5.7-16 per cent for non-penetrative abuse for boys and 4-12 per cent for penetrative abuse and 13.9-36 per cent for non-penetrative abuse for girls.

    To put those figures into context, the "best case" scenario is that 1 in 20 boys are sexually abused. The worst case is that 1 in three girls are.

    Yes, women can also abuse, but as the Australian Institute of Family Studies' Who Abuses Children fact sheet makes clear, "Evidence overwhelmingly indicates that the majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by males."

    An Australian Institute of Criminology 2011 paper "Misperceptions about child sex offenders" shows 30.2 per cent of child sexual abuse was perpetrated by a male relative, and 13.5 per cent by the father or stepfather. A tiny 0.8 per cent of cases were perpetrated by mothers and stepmothers, and 0.9 per cent of child sexual abuse was perpetrated by a female relative. The other categories of perpetrators were family friend (16.3 per cent), an acquaintance or neighbour (15.6 per cent), another known person (15.3 per cent) – without specifying the gender split.

    Data from the US National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) showed that males made up 90 per cent of adult child sexual assault perpetrators, while 3.9 per cent of perpetrators were female, with a further 6 per cent classified as "unknown gender".

    While we're all terrified by the prospect of strangers abusing our kids and most of us would never let our young child walk around the streets by themselves, the Australian Institute of Criminology paper said that "in the vast majority of cases, children's abusers are known to them".

    Children are at far greater risk from relatives, siblings, friends, and other known adults such as priests, teachers and coaches.

    The blanket rule against allowing our daughters to be in the care of lone male adults means that we do not have to make a moral assessment of every man. My husband and I do not want to delve into the characters of every man that we know and assess whether or not they are potential sexual predators, so we apply our rule to all men to avoid casting aspersions on people.

    We're also not sure if we can trust our judgement. If anything, the statistics suggest that many parents aren't very good at determining which male adults are safe and which are not.

    No doubt some people will call me a man hater and, just as we saw with the backlash against Tracey Spicer's article as a couple of years back about not wanting her unaccompanied children sitting next to a man on a plane, people will react as if the protection of children is secondary to men's right not to be offended.

    But dismissing this as a hysterical reaction of a misandrist is not only incorrect, it's also missing the point spectacularly. My husband and my decision is based on straightforward risk analysis: a cold, hard, unemotional reading of the statistical data.

    When I look at my daughter's class lining up on assembly and think that statistically between one and nine of them are going to be sexually abused before they reach adulthood, I am determined to do everything I can to make sure my daughter is not going to be one of them.

    I know it's a hard line, some would say extreme. But I also know that sexual abuse can rob a child of their self-worth and dignity in an instant – and it can take decades for those wounds to heal, if at all.

    In this context, potentially hurting peoples' feelings is the price my husband and I are prepared to pay."

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  3. #2
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    Default *Trigger warning* WDYT? No male babysitters?

    I read it this morning as well. I have no problems with it. I think it is smart and makes sense - albeit an uncertain uncomfortable concept and topic the statistics are what they are.

    My dh is a federal police officer. He works in child protection. He agrees completely with the sentiments expressed in the article (I flicked the link to him).

    I only have sons but feel exactly the same way. My DS2 was 12 the first time he slept at someone else's home. Prior to that it was sleepovers at my home only. He only attended school camps or sporting events away from home if I or his father could attend.

    I don't let anyone babysit my kids except my sister and now DS1 (he's 22). Is that a hard line to follow yup. Especially as neither of those family members live near us. Honesty IMO it's a small price to pay to ensure I'm doing everything in my power to keep my boys safe.

    Edit and like the woman in the article I actually don't give a toss what others think on this topic. If people knew what my dh was exposed to in his work they would feel exactly the same way!
    Last edited by binnielici; 24-02-2017 at 11:47.

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    Default *Trigger warning* WDYT? No male babysitters?

    While I respect and understand the desire to do everything you can to minimise the chances of your child being abused, I don't think this is a line I would take. The statistics are scary but I don't want to teach my child you aren't safe with any adult male but all females are fine. I focus on teaching my child that her body is hers and that no one has the right to touch it without her consent, that it's okay to say no, and that there's nothing she can't tell her dad or I. Is it a perfect system? No. But that's why I will still make judgement calls about who is safe to be around my child and who isn't on an individual basis. I'll also always respect my child's own instincts. If she ever says she feels unsafe or doesn't like someone then I won't leave her with them.

    Eta: I am actually very picky about who I leave my child with. I'm just not making those decisions based solely on gender.

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  7. #4
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    My question to them would be. Are your daughters at an all girl school to include the teachers, principle, canteen staff, school classroom helpers, cleaners and ground people and not to mention oshc carers aswell and any work people that come to the school.

    I've got no issues with females looking after my ds. He's has had lots of sleep we where the mums do everything.

    I think it is a bit far which makes me think someone had a lot of time on their hands. Although the statistics could be correct there are women who are abusers aswell

  8. #5
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    I am extremely picky about who watches my kids. In saying that i go on a individual basis. I don't see whats in between someone legs to be the best indicator of how suitable they are to watch my kids.
    In the past 23 years other than school teachers etc i would have let maybe 8 people babysit and that includes immediately family members.
    Amongst that list is a friend that is a single dad.

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    Didn't read the article but feel I should add my 2¢ as a victim of couresive child abuse and now a mother to a beautiful daughter.
    I was abused by males and a female. The first time was a family member, (male) then close family friends, (male and female) a couple who had kids of their own.
    I had not thought about it so forwardly until now (bub is 10 months and I'm a SAHM) but no I would never have a male babysit and I never thought other people would either, nor would I ever have a female I didn't know babysit. Only close close close known friends and family.
    I don't base this on gender. I base this on probability and how I feel about a person/situation. When my daughter is old enough, her thoughts, feelings and instincts will come into account too. Until then I make the choice and I chose to take every step I can to ensure my daughter never experiences the complete mind f that is child abuse (in any form).

    Edit, okay, I did read it. Didn't realise it was in the post.
    Last edited by CountryMumkin; 24-02-2017 at 12:16.

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    Can I just put it out there to those who say they will trust their child's instincts - a child who is being groomed will likely love and adore the predator. By the time the contact offending starts they will potentially be unable to express ill will towards the predator (not always but often).

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by binnielici View Post
    Can I just put it out there to those who say they will trust their child's instincts - a child who is being groomed will likely love and adore the predator. By the time the contact offending starts they will potentially be unable to express ill will towards the predator (not always but often).
    You make an excellent point. I should clarify that when I say I'll trust my child's instincts, I mean negative instincts. I know there were people who I didn't feel comfortable around when I was growing up and my parents made sure I didn't have to be near them.
    My child adoring someone wouldn't be enough reason for me to consider them okay if I had any hesitation myself.

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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by binnielici View Post
    Can I just put it out there to those who say they will trust their child's instincts - a child who is being groomed will likely love and adore the predator. By the time the contact offending starts they will potentially be unable to express ill will towards the predator (not always but often).
    I believe a childs instincts are one tool in your tool belt as a parent. Its not the only tool you use to determine whether someone is suitable.

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    I cannot argue with her stance, or the choices she is making to protect her girls from potential abuse.

    What I do find a little 'off' is that she is going to grill the mother of her daughter's friends to make sure no male will be supervising the children without the mother being present. I would personally prefer to take an approach which did not involve insinuating that a father is a potential child molester (e.g, only have play dates at your own house or arrange catch-ups where you'll be present).

    I recall having a friend in high school who wasn't allowed to sleep over at anyone's house until she was about 16 years old. We would have slumber parties and her parents would always pick her up after a couple of hours. I guess they had the same concerns, but it didn't seem like a big deal as it was just a blanket rule. This approach obviously meant there was no need to grill individual families.

    Don't get me wrong - DH and I are beyond protective of our DS. He has ASD and at this age (6) I don't think he'd open up and tell us if he was abused. For this reason (and others) he's never been babysat by anyone but my parents or MIL (when she visits), and that's on rare occasions.

    So yes, I have no problem with being highly protective, I just feel like the way she approaches the issue is a bit up-front and accusatory.

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