by Detective Don Howel and Chris Iverson
This book is intended to be a game changer on how America addresses the victimization of children. For decades we have heard, I never told anyone I was being touched, when we should have been hearing, No one ever asked if I was being touched.
This may sound like a simple shift in perspective, but it’s so much more. Think of the molested child or adult who has been telling themselves for decades, I never told anyone. The very statement implies that the child/adult is somehow at fault for not telling. When we grow up, we tend to forget how we perceived the world as children. As adults with fully developed brains and the gift of hindsight, we look back, see what happened, and say, I should have told someone or I should have done something different or I should have stopped it somehow. What people forget is that during the time of the molestation, they had the brain power of a child and therefore didn’t have the ability to think their way out of the situation.
Beyond Stranger Danger, Smart Parents Raising Safe Kids is a valuable tool for anyone who has children in their lives, whether as a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, neighbor, friend, teacher or, anyone. I learned so much about sexual predators and how to protect the children in my life from them, by reading this book. The stories are quick and entertaining reads but provide insight into what creates a predator and what creates a victim and, more importantly, how to stop either from happening. My favorite was the closing story, based on the true life experience of the author, Don Howell and his son. His young son told his dad about ‘a friend’ who had confided an inappropriate contact with an adult male and how Don used the information to step in and prevent something terrible from happening. I am so glad I read this book and know that I now have a much better understanding of how to recognize problem people and work with the children in my life to make them as aware. Definitely a critical reading assignment for all adults who care about the safety of ALL kids. As the book so clearly states “the child you save may not be your own.