According to Statistics Canada, one in four girls and one in eight boys have been sexually abused by the time they are eighteen. Seventy per cent of rape victims in Canada know their rapist. How much of these statistics are children of divorce?
Divorce is understandable.
Sometimes marriage just doesn’t work out. With kids are involved, it is even more heartbreaking.
Divorcees not only have themselves to worry about when getting back into dating, they have to worry about the affect their new relationship will have on their kids and vice versa. What scares me, especially when it is children that I care about, is the fact that the relationship between parents and their new significant other is different than the child’s relationship with the significant other. The feelings of Mom or Dad being replaced, having someone/multiple someones in their lives or feeling like they don’t matter as much to their parents anymore can have an impact of kids growing up in two family homes.
Parents themselves can become blinded, both by an excitement of a new relationship and the pressures of the old one, that they could miss the signs if something goes wrong between step parents and children?
When a child is sexually assaulted by someone that is in a relationship with Mom or Dad, they may feel that their parent would side with their perpetrator since they are dating. Or feel that they are in the wrong when it is an adult doing it who they are supposed to trust.
Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen little girls and boys in my life that this better not happen to but it’s one of those things that parents may miss or children don’t feel comfortable talking about.
After talking with one of these parents last night, I was told that his little girl says Mom’s new boyfriend is okay. This made me wonder, how do we know that this is true?
To parents I say, don’t let your children suffer in silence. Let children know that they can talk to you if something is wrong.