Posts Tagged ‘child sexual abuse’

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My just-turned three year old daughter and I were talking today.

Lauca: My vulva is poisonous.

Me: Whaaaaaaat?

(I’m trying not to panic, but where the hell did she pick up this misogynist notion?)

Lauca: No-one is allowed to touch my vulva, except me, because it’s private. It is poisonous.

Lauca has of course muddled two concepts we’ve been teaching her about; the concept of body sovereignty and the concept of bush-walking near poisonous plants. Both involve rules about touch.

Teaching my three year old how to avoid sexual violence feels like the ultimate head-game. How to prepare her for the worst manipulativeness possible without frightening her? How to alert her to danger without actually telling her about the danger? How to get her to recognise sexual abuse, when if it ever does come into her life it will likely appear as someone she thinks of as a friend or trusted relative? So I’m planting these concepts, laying these minefields in her psyche, hoping that if they’re ever called upon that they’ll detonate correctly in the face of trespass. That she’ll manage to stop the sexual assault somehow, or if not, that she’ll find the strength to tell her father or I about it afterwards so we can stop the assault from continuing.

Last year when I participated in Blog Against Sexual Violence Day I wrote about how ubiquitous sexual violence is for young women. I thought back on my youth and recorded all my near misses. It was a depressing process, particularly when I reflected upon raising a daughter. This year I struggled to think of a topic to post on for the event. Not because there is nothing left to say about sexual violence, but because there is too much. I chanced upon our conversation today and then wondered if using this light-hearted anecdote was inappropriate. But on this beautiful autumn day I was unable to find the mood for outrage. It is not that I am any less outraged by sexual violence, I’m not. I’m outraged, I’m full of rage, I’m sick of my rage, I want this threat to end already. I want women and men and children to be free of this atrocious crime of violence. I want the perpetrators of sexual violence to stop, finally stop.

If only Lauca was right, if only the vulva (or penis) was poisonous to the touch of an abuser.

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I swear I intended to post on something positive next… but then I found this. I’m just fucking speechless.  (Don’t look if you don’t want to visualise someone out there thinking child sexual abuse is a real thigh slapper).


I have to go away and think about something nice for a while.

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