Nov 30, 2012

Mommy, a boy tried to pull down my pants

What would you do if your six-year-old daughter comes home crying from school and tells you that a boy tried to pull down her pants? Would you be calm on hearing the news? Would you be mad at the boy? Would you be afraid that your daughter might have been compromised? What would you do and how would you go about it? 

No malicious intent

The answers would very much depend on WHAT EXACTLY the boy did, whether he had malicious intent, whether he was forced to do it as part of the game, or a number of other reasons. There are many running games for kids to play – one of them called tag – where you have to run after the kids and catch them. Was this something innocent like that? Six-year-old kids can be naughty, but calling them malicious is hardly fair. Accidents happen. You can chase a boy and catch him by his belt and the pants come off, or you want to frighten a girl by pulling on her pants. It is not good manners, for sure, and not polite but it does not warrant a harsh sentence. The answer would be deep down in the boy’s brain, but is he even old enough to understand what this means?

Asking the right questions after an incident of suspected abuse

·         I would ask my daughter to tell me what happened, and not to leave out important details.
·         I would call the police and tell them what happened.
·         I would contact a social worker to tell me my rights and also to talk to my daughter.
·         I would not rush out to the boy's family home and create a scene.
·         I would ask for contact details of bystanders and witnesses and give it to the police.
·         I would get in touch with Child Services and speak to a social worker to see if my child has been abused.
·         I would ask a doctor to meet with my daughter to determine that she is fine and whether the incident is serious enough to warrant therapy.
·         The most important question I would want to have answered, however, is whether my child has been touched in an inappropriate way or not so as the appropriate measures can be taken and life can go on.