The ABC’s of keeping our daughters safe (part 2):

When I began posting excerpts from my larger work for this essay The ABC’s of keeping our daughters safe, I thought I would end up with a two part project. It turns out, it’s three. I’ll post the conclusion within the next few days. 


The ABC’s of keeping our daughters safe (part 2):

In part one of this essay: Keeping our Daughters Safe, we talked about the hardware needed, confidence, assertiveness, maturity and intelligence. And we also defined what those terms mean. Now lets go into the software – the accurate knowledge and skill, we will want to arm them with.

If we’ve done our job as coaches or parents, we already know our daughters are strong enough to do what needs to be done. All that’s left is to teach them what exactly that is. Believe it or not, that’s the much easier part.

Before we get into exactly what that is, let’s briefly discuss what not to do.

Don’t ever say I told you so. It’s pointless, and it erodes the most important thing that can exist between parent and child – trust.

Don’t ever call her weak. Parents who say these sorts of things are never doing more than revealing their own character – through projection. Don’t be that coward.

Don’t ever tell her that crying, or displays of emotion are a sign of weakness. That’s a lie. And it betrays a lack of wisdom on your part.

Don’t ever lie to her.

Don’t ever encourage delusional thinking about the nature of conflict, or human beings.

Not all delusional thinking is as obvious as belief in magical creatures, or the cancer curing properties of lemon juice – some, takes the form of misinformation, thinking we know something we don’t. And when it comes to keeping our daughters safe, that’s unacceptable. One common example of this is who parents often believe the major threat to their child is. As a father, no thought is more terrifying than one that involves harm coming to my children. It is the nightmare all parents share. But in modern America, just how likely is it?

As a child who grew up drinking milk and going to the cinema in the 70’s, it wasn’t uncommon to think it was rampant. Milk cartons displayed photos of every missing kid. The movie theaters were cranking out classic revenge films like Dirty Harry and Death Wish. And while true that violent crime, including the kidnapping of children, was more prevalent in the 70’s than it is now – as your average 9 year old boy in 1978, the odds were higher that my heart would have randomly stopped working than it ever was that I’d be kidnapped by a stranger.

So just how likely is it that an unfamiliar person will kidnap a child in the United States?

Of all children reported missing each year, about 0.01, one hundredth of one percent, are taken by strangers.

What is likely is that a child runs away, gets lost, or in far less cases (10%), is taken in a custody battle by the opposing parent. To put that into perspective, for every 10,000 reported missing children, 1 is taken by a stranger, which, in a nation of 322 million people, averages to about 100 stranger abductions a year.

I don’t want to minimize the importance of those 100 children. For me as a father, nothing would qualify as more horrifying than knowing my child had been taken by a stranger; and rightfully so. Of those one hundred kids, only half ever make it home. Out of the remaining 50, the majority, 78%, are murdered within 3 hours – usually after they have suffered rape and torture.

Having said that, with this subject, as with any other, we want to know reality as it is. And reality is that 99.8% of all missing children come home.

Most all of them, 90%, were either lost, suffered a miscommunication, or ran away – and of the remaining 10%, almost all, 9+%, were taken by a parent in a custody battle. But as child pouring milk into my frosted flakes and staring at another photo of a missing kid, that carton didn’t differentiate between the over 99% and the less than 1%; and I would have liked to have known that.

What about childhood murders in general, who kills kids?

If we look at that same 28-year period, from 1980-2008, 63% were killed by a parent. And by parent, I almost always mean, step parent. What do I mean by ‘almost always’? A child is 100 times more likely to be killed as a result of abuse by a stepparent than by a genetically related parent.

Let that disturbing fact settle in for a moment, then read it again.

A child is 100 times more likely to be killed as a result of abuse by a stepparent than by a genetically related parent.

Only 3% of all murdered children are killed by strangers; 33% are killed by stepdads (or far less likely, biological fathers), 30% by stepmoms (or less likely, biological moms), and 23% by male acquaintances (usually moms boyfriend).

My wife has been an outstanding stepparent. And most stepparents do a good job handling what can be a very tough situation. But there is no way around the statistical reality that the greatest threat to the lives of children are the non-genetically related lovers, either husbands or boyfriends, that women bring into the home. As unpopular as that may be to say, or as uncomfortable as it is to think about, most kids are killed by stepdads and boyfriends, men who don’t share their genes.

What about child rape?

As you now know, less than 0.01%, one hundredth of one percent of the children kidnapped in the United States every year, are taken by strangers. And when it comes to the far more prevalent crime of sexual abuse, the data shows the same pattern. A staggering 1 out of every 4 girls in this nation, and 1 out of every 6 boys, is sexually abused. Of those victims, approximately 30% are abused by family members, stepfathers, stepbrothers, uncles, and related kin; another 60% are abused by people who are known to the family, but not related. These include family friends, mom’s boyfriend, babysitters and neighbors.

To put that in perspective, 90% of all children sexually assaulted, are the victims of someone they and their family know.

Are child rapists violent criminal actors? Of course they are. But the vast majority are not strangers who kidnap children from the playground. They are known family members or close friends to the family, who, given time and opportunity, seek out children to victimize by, in many cases, ingratiating themselves to the parents. Like most predators, these are Character Dis-Ordered Individuals (a term you’ll hear me use a lot in my work), what I refer to as CDOs, who only later reveal themselves to be despicable Violent Criminal Actors – VCAs.

When boys are the victims, men are the abusers 86% of the time. When girls are the victims, men are the abusers 94% of the time. As with most violent crime, child sexual abuse is travesty committed primarily by men.

77% of the time the attacker is over 18, and children living with a single mother or a mother living with a man who is not genetically related to the children, are at the greatest risk, their kids are eight times more likely to become victims of abuse than children who live with both biological parents.

The highest rates of child rape occur in Africa. This is followed, surprisingly to some, by Scandinavia. Sexual violence in Iceland in particular, is at epidemic levels; with ‘reported’ rapes being more than twice that of other Scandinavian nations like Denmark, Finland, and Norway; and the reported sexual abuse against children also being much higher than the other Nordic nations. Southern Europe, the United States and Asia all report similar, lower numbers, which vary between 10-25% of the underage population becoming victims. And as is the case in the States, most of the victims, and the victim’s families, know their attacker.

A note here – criminologists will tell you that it is notoriously difficult to compare crime data from various nations. Many places fail to collect reliable data, or use very different standards in terms of what may constitute a particular type of crime. Understanding this, I use as many sources as possible when compiling facts for this book; which accounts for the large volume of citations that appear in the appendix. As it relates to Icelandic crime I recommend the work of the writer, Þórdís Elva Þorvaldsdóttir Bachmann, who has become a spokesperson for this problem, as well as the book, ‘Wayward Icelanders’, by the author, Helgi Gunnlaugsson.

I break down human predators into three major categories. They are listed in the order in which they are most frequently encountered, with one being the highest likelihood, and in ascending order as it relates to danger, with three being the highest in terms of damage done per incident.

      1) CDO’s Character Disordered Individuals (the creep in your life. Your biggest threat.)

      2) VCA’s Violent Criminal Actors (the average street criminal – dumb, desperate, dangerous.)

      3) MCA’s Moralistic Criminal Actors (Jihadists, Unibombers, etc.)

Number one is CDO’s, the Character Disordered individual. As we’ve seen from the data, most people are not victimized by strangers, but by people they know. These attackers rarely enter the scene wearing their true, malevolent face. More often than not, they come disguised as sheep. They are numerous, frequently encountered, possibly related to you, and always deleterious to your life. The most frequent type of violence they use is expressive, the spontaneous release of tension through violent behavior. Followed closely by instrumental violence, actions designed to achieve a specific goal.

Over the decades I’ve found quite a bit on the subject of violent criminal actors. The literature on these types is extensive. By contrast, there is very little on those who tend to victimize their own families and friends, CDOs.

Neurotics, who are often the children of CDOs, tend to experience ongoing problems with other individuals in their lives who are regularly attempting to manipulate, abuse, and generally exploit them. Those exploited often feel guilty, ashamed, and therefore, habitually neurotic about these interactions. While at the same time, the individuals that tended to plague these people, also share a similar set of character traits. The exploiters are Character Disordered Individuals, or CDOs. And stopping the cycle of abuse means getting them out of your life, and more importantly, the lives of your children.

A character disorder and a personality disorder are not the same thing. A personality disorder tends to describe how an individual interacts with others. A character disorder, as I use it in this book, refers to an individual’s character, their virtue, values, and conscience.

CDOs operate from a place of desire and manipulation, which, when it works, is viewed by them as a form of domination. They feel very little guilt or shame, and externalize blame rather than taking personal responsibility for their actions. Unlike neurotics who worry how they have affected others, CDOs primarily worry about how others have affected them. They will tell a story which places themselves front and center as the victim, the narrative of which, if you listen carefully, betrays a deep-rooted sense of entitlement – all the while being quick to anger – lashing out, often childishly, with aggressive verbal attacks designed to strike at their targets, their spouse, child, lover, or “friends”, weakest emotional points. And when that doesn’t work, assuming they have a substantial advantage, some attack physically. At that point the CDO has become a VCA, and we’ve failed at our strategy of prediction and avoidance.

Here are 5 traits I use to help you recognize the CDOs in your own life.

      Definable traits of a CDO:

1- Insincerity – false persona

2- Failure to take personal responsibility

3- Attitude of entitled victimhood

4- Propensity towards childish reactive aggression

5- Consistent attempts to manipulate

I’d classify anyone who consistently demonstrates at least 3 out of these 5 traits regularly, as character disordered. And the prescription for solving the problem is always the same – get them out of your life.

Here is where it all becomes difficult. These people are, by definition, people you already know. They may be a relative, an uncle, cousin, or sibling. They may even be a parent.

If you’re smart enough to stop excusing their behavior, if you’re educated enough to recognize that they are the way they are because that is who they are – it is their character, and, you’re very good at maintaining healthy boundaries, then, and only then, is it possible to minimize the damage these sorts of human beings will do to your life.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

But, if you’re a parent, you have an obligation to keep them away from your children. And if there is one single take away message from this series of articles, let it be that.

If you want to keep your daughters safe and happy – physically healthy, emotionally healthy, and intellectually healthy – keeping character disordered people away from them, whether they are your cousin, uncle, sibling, father, or otherwise, isn’t just an option, it is the single most important thing you can do.

It is, bluntly put, a moral duty.

Parents who allow their own sentimental emotions to overwhelm this vital rule, are parents who end with abused children.

In part 3 of this essay, I’ll conclude with some concrete lessons you can use to make sure your daughters stay safe – however, none will be more important than the one you just read.