Thursday, May 21, 2009

Keeping Busy

This week for Family Night we decided to check out the Trout Farm. It was a great activity and Emma was sooo into it. Definitely something we'll do again.

I've been keeping busy by trying to spice up the nursery a bit. I'm pretty played on the pink and brown theme, but I decided to add some hot pink and green and I'm satisfied with the change. I got Lydia new bedding, added a picture frame window, and made her an "L" banner. I've had fun buying some new baby clothes and I just can't wait to have her here.

One weekend we went to Rupert, Idaho with Kylee and Brody to see our Smith cousins who we always have such a blast with. We went to Ryan's favorite Mexican restaurant, visited the dam catwalk, had a bonfire, played a competitive game of croquet, and stayed up late playing cards. It was so nice to see the Smiths and I also learned that Adam, Sydney's husband, is the nicest guy ever!! I love learning new things :)

Another weekend my mom took my oldest sister and I to Women's Conference at BYU. It was so great to get away and have such positive messages for two full days. Some of the Smith girls were there as well and we had fun joining them for classes and activities in the evening. Here we all stopped by Thanksgiving Point to tour the tulips.

Emma has been soooo good. I can't get over what a sweet little girl she is. She is so helpful and happy ALL the time. I try to never miss a chance to capture her sweet little cheese ball personality.

Kylee and Brody still have a stronghold as our friends we see the most of. Last weekend they came up and we hiked into Wheeler Canyon and found the most beautiful spot to have a fire, foil dinners, and play cards. We were there for a good five hours, and we never run out of things to talk about.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I have noticed that everybody seems to have a social or world problem that they feel very strongly about. For some it is Global Warming, others it is Animal Rights. My mom has set a great example to me for taking a strong stand against Pornography, something she feels very passionate about. For me, my stand is on Sexual Abuse of Children. I find myself glued to every TV program that educates us and enlightens us about Pedophiles, and child molestation. I have noticed that every show from Oprah, to 20/20 seems to be constantly running special reports on the well being of our children. I am consumed the whole night with thoughts about these children, but especially thoughts about my own children and nieces and nephews. So I would like to share some of the most disturbing statistics and the information I have found during my many hours of research.
1 out of 3 girls will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18
1 out of every 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18
Only 10% of victims ever report they were abused (so those above numbers may be much higher)
The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.
A child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.
The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.
Most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.
There are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States.
80,000 to 100,000 of the above offenders are missing.
40% of the offenders of victims under age 6 were themselves juveniles. A similar proportion (39%) of offenders of victims ages 6 through 11 were also juveniles.
Molesters known by the family or victim are the most common abusers.
From the studies and reports I have seen I have learned that these pedophiles are not a stranger lurking at the rest stop bathroom. These are men, and juvenile boys, who are at our Holiday dinners, neighborhood BBQ's, and sometimes the last ones we would ever suspect. They have mastered the art of gaining our trust and made a life out of lying and deceit. Although their victims describe them as monsters, these are our Boy scout leaders, church leaders, school educators, and most often times our immediate family members.
So what can you do? Well for one thing, only 10% of children actually ever report their abuse. We need to be talking to our children at a young age about their bodies and what is appropriate. We need to be engaging our older children in conversations that would help them open up if they are being abused.
This makes me more sick than words can say, but I learned that a serious abuser makes sure that there is "pleasure" in his abuse for his victim. That creates sooo much shame and guilt that the victim is likely to never confess the abuse that is taking place.
There are 9 cases of sexual abuse, that I KNOW of, between different family and friend members. Every one of them was from a family member, 5 of which the abuser was under 18.
The most crucial and important action that can be made is to DEFEND the child. I have seen personally the damage that is done when nobody comes to the child's defense. I don't care if the abuser is your husband, your father, your brother or son....but charges MUST be made. That little girl, or boy, has a a right to know that what happened to them was wrong, and NOT THEIR FAULT! All too often the abuse is swept under the rug, as to not shame the family name, and the abuser is left to battle his illness and will undoubtedly harm multiple more children until he is stopped. Psychological and emotional damage is inevitable when a child suffers from sexual violation, especially at the hands of someone they love. However, if they see that they were fought for and defended, then they have a good chance at recovery.
I know Ryan has said he would kill anyone who harmed our children. I am still trying to talk him out of this notion, but he says he would rather live the rest of his life in prison and have his daughter know he defended her. I don't think we should all go out and kill these child molesters, but we do need to have them face their consequences. The law doesn't even give life sentences for sexual abuse of children. Most states only give 1 to 3 years. No matter the sentence that the law gives, nothing can ever take away the damage that is done to these poor young children. Wikipedia lists the harm of abuse as the following "Child sexual abuse can result in both short-term and long-term harm, including psychopathology in later life.[9][22] Psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects include depression,[5][23][24] post-traumatic stress disorder,[6][25] anxiety,[7] eating disorders, poor self-esteem, dissociative and anxiety disorders; general psychological distress and disorders such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain,[24] sexualized behavior,[26] school/learning problems; and behavior problems including substance abuse,[27][28] destructive behavior, criminality in adulthood and suicide."
Ryan and I are really into a reality show called INTERVENTION. It documents people with serious addictions. In every episode is traces back to their childhood and WHY they have the addiction that they do. 95% of the addicts relate their addiction to the sexual abuse they suffered in their childhood.
As upsetting and disturbing as it may be, I think we need to visualize what it means to sexually abuse a child. I think Oprah has really helped her stand against Pedophiles by being more descriptive and creating more of a visual as to the abuse that is taking place. My mind, and stomache can only stand a few split seconds before I have to clear those images from my head. But we are giving power to these Molesters and abusers by only using words to describe their unforgiveable acts. I truly believe that in a courtroom if the jury was asked to visualize or witness the abuse of the child, that the noose would be brought back and we would have a public hanging. But we live in a country that is so much more concerned with being politically correct that we use soft phrases to describe events, and we are villanized if we want people to have an eye witness account. Like 9/11 for example, it is frowned upon to replay the evnts of the day, we are to just refer to it as 9/11 and have a quiet understanding of what that means.
I know this post is really rather disturbing. I know it's just easier to push these thoughts out of your head and think that this will never happen to your child. But unless we start becoming aware of how advanced Satan really is, we will likely find our children filling these statistics. It makes me sick to think that "statistically" two of my parent's granddaughters, and one of their grandsons will be sexually abused. Ryan and I have agreed to not leave Emma alone with any of our nephews, regardless of who they are. It is a protection for them, and our daughters as well. We have agreed on many other family standards that definitely become a burden sometimes to follow through with. However, when it comes to the protection of your child, in this day and age you just can't be too careful.