Of course, when we’re socializing, we put on our best face. And other people do, too. We all smile and chat and make nice. But in private, things are different. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors? Which is why it’s so difficult to know if we can trust that our children are safe when they visit their friends’ homes. I mean, how well do we know their parents? They seem nice enough, but can we really trust our 5-year-old with them? The writer of this story proves that looks can be deceiving. When he was seven, he stayed with friends after school until his parents picked him up. And everything seemed fine until one day, the boy went in his friend’s kitchen and saw her mother beating her with a stick. The boy’s reaction was perfect and it shows that even children know violence is wrong. And as parents, we should listen to our children more. Whenever they go over to their friends’ houses, they do go behind closed doors and see what goes on when other adults aren’t looking. Listening to what our child say when they come home can help us make better decisions about who they play with. And it can help us make our children and the children in our communities safer, too! Read his story below and share it with others to raise awareness about child abuse.
“My parents worked full time so I stayed with a neighbor after school until they got home. My neighbor had two daughters: 6 and 10 at the time. The 6-year-old was my best friend and we played in her front yard mostly because her mother hated noise in the house.
One day it was raining so we were playing upstairs. I guess we were too loud, because the mother had the girl go out back and pull a switch from a bush.
I came into the kitchen to my friend bent over a chair, getting wailed on with a branch—bloody marks down her back and legs. Our parents never hit us as kids, so I freaked. I went back upstairs and called 911, as you’re told to do in an emergency when you’re 7.
I told the operator what was happening and he sent a squad car out. Child services visited the house regularly after that.
I was never allowed over to play again, and my parents were pissed about having to dip into savings for an after-school babysitter. 20 years later, I’m really proud of myself for trying to stop a violent attack on a six year old.”
Please share this story with all the parents in your life!
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