July 16, 2015

My new book “Father Figure – My Mission to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse”, is largely about trusting one’s gut instincts in regards to personal safety. My book also focuses on the fact that “prevention” means remaining vigilant and avoiding uncomfortable situations “before” something can happen. Quite often, this can make all the difference between being a victim and avoiding victimization altogether.

Recently I encountered an incident where an intelligent child followed her gut instincts in response to a situation that made her feel uncomfortable. At a community swimming pool, my friend’s 11 year old daughter asked me to accompany her to the girls’ restroom because she felt uncomfortable about a strange man sitting by himself right outside the restroom for an extended period of time. The girls’ restroom was otherwise isolated and the child would have had to walk right past this strange person to use the restroom.

My friends and I noticed in passing days that this person would continue to sit for long periods of time right outside the girls’ bathroom. Eventually we brought this to the attention of the pool manager, and when the person in question became angry and belligerent, I even had to get the local police involved.

Though there was no evidence telling us that this individual posed any risk to young girls, my friend’s child was correct to take the side of caution and request that a trusted adult accompany her to the girls’ bathroom to ensure her personal safety. She followed her gut instincts, and thereby eliminated any possibility – however remote – of becoming a victim in this situation.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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