I have previously written articles about how important it is to keep your children away from pornography, but it is a point that I feel I must drive home over and over again. The fact is that pornography is addictive, and even young children who have no idea what they are seeing will be changed by it and will end up craving it. Another sad fact is that children who see it will then act out what they’ve seen with other children, even their own brothers and sisters. Don’t believe me? Well perhaps you’ll believe this sexual assault nurse who works at a large children’s hospital. Her name is Heidi Olson, and she recently wrote a mind-numbing article for the website Protect Young Minds, which you should all subscribe to.
Olson writes that in the past few years, her job duties as a pediatric sexual assault nurse have shown her time and time again that children are sexually assaulting other children. Are simply devastating, but they are also simply through. She writes:
“When I became a SANE nurse, I thought the typical perpetrator was most likely going to be a creepy old man in his 60s who lured kids into his basement with lollipops, but I was so wrong. The biggest age range of perpetrators that I see in my hospital are children. In fact, for the third year in a row, our biggest age range of people committing sexual assaults are children ages 11-15 years old.”
Why are these children sexually assaulting other children? The answer is not surprising to me but it is devastating to me. “Pornography is often a main factor,” Olson says, “and sometimes the only factor, that influenced a child to act out in a sexually harmful way.” And the children that also and is working with are not isolated. Last year, the Guardian in the United Kingdom published an article entitled “Child-on-child sexual assaults soar, police figures reveal.” This is not just an American problem, it’s a problem that applies to any country where children have ready and open access to the Internet.
The only good news here, Olson says, is that now that we know that this is a trend, we can do what it takes to stop it. Her key pieces of advice for parents are as follows:
Talk to children about the dangers of pornography. Children often accidently stumble upon porn while searching innocently online. Talk to your children and make it safe for kids to speak up when they see something. Check your children’s screens and devices frequently. Children who habitually look at porn are more likely to act out. Know what your kids are looking at.
Prepare your children to protect amazing bodies – their own and others. Teach them that other people should never be touching or taking pictures of their private areas. At the same time, teach them they should never touch or take pictures of others’ private areas.
Educate others about online safety. Raise awareness of the correlation between sexual assault and pornography. Talk about keeping kids safe. The more people understand, the better chance we have to protect our kids.
Parents, as I said before, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to Protect Young Minds. They have tons of resources to help parents truly prepare their kids for and protect their kids from pornography. This is something we must do if we want our children to have good sexual health, and to stop them from becoming perpetrators of sexual assault.