It was never supposed to have happened to us. We were the careful ones. But sexual abuse is real, even for kids enrolled in online homeschool. The neighborhood homeschool family with the big white van full of happy children. But somehow a sexual predator snuck into our lives and shattered our family’s world. And that is why I am so passionate to help others learn what I wish we had known.
A 46-year-old man from our church lured our daughter Kalyn into a sexually abusive relationship when she was just 14 years old. Afterward she suffered many of the aftermath effects common to victims. Depression, rebellion, suicide threats, cutting, eating disorders…we pretty well saw it all. But Jesus was willing and able to untangle the most complicated and ugly messes!
Today, Kalyn is healed and whole. She is a wife and a homeschooling mama of two sweet children, and her life stands as a testimony to any family that is tempted to give up in the midst of confusion, pain and suffering. You can read our family’s story in Unmask the Predators.
In America today, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday. That is a horrific statistic that knows no demographic boundary. We need to face the fact that we are not immune from the danger of childhood sexual abuse. Today’s families must be prepared to protect their children in the midst of an increasingly perverse culture.
Together, we can raise up a new standard in our offline or online homeschool community. We can make necessary practical adjustments to ensure all of our families are protected and safe. When news of sexual abuses involving high profile homeschool teachers and leaders began popping up in the news over the last year, I was, like you, deeply troubled. I was heartbroken for the victims who would be challenged to recover their lost innocence.
I was empathetic for the homeschooling parents who would need to find their family’s path for healing. And I was alarmed that our homeschool community might not be as prepared as we need to be to stand together and protect our kids. So, I decided to do something about my concerns. I started by writing an Open Letter to My Fellow Homeschoolers. And I quickly discovered many of us share the same thoughts! That is why the National Sexual Abuse Prevention week is so important.
Our ministry, Frontline Family Ministries, has contacted nationally recognized experts to help us learn:
- How to Recognize a Sexual Predator
- How to Avoid Unique Vulnerabilities in the Homeschool Environment
- The Grooming Mystery
- Protecting Kids Online
- Healing Wounded and Damaged Hearts
- What to Teach our Kids about Sexual Issues
We are creating a resource on our site that can be used by parents, teens, homeschool teachers, coops, and leaders to update our skills and heal our hearts. Traditional and online homeschool families are encouraged to participate regularly in the National Sexual Abuse Prevention Week.