Magen LI-YILC outlines camp safety for parents
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Dr. Schulman contributed a chapter in a book by Dr. Pelcovitz and David Mandel of Ohel, “Breaking the Silence: Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community.” She noted that she gave ten examples for each age group, all drawn from her practice, ranging from little kids to adolescents and above. “We have to teach them how to react if something happens,” she said, “how parents can stop this from happening.”
The first and vitally important step is to emphasize your love to your child. She said parents should say, “’You are my child and I will always love you, even if you get in trouble, no matter what you say. You’re ours and we love you no matter what happens.’ Don’t sit him down, I don’t believe in sit down sessions. Sneak it in day by day, constantly.”
As far as “touchings” she defined the differences as “yes, no, and I don’t know”: yes is mommy, no is a punch in the nose and I don’t know “makes you feel squishy inside. No one is allowed to touch you if you don’t want, if it makes you feel ichy avoid it. If a counselor jumps into your bed, get out of there, get on the phone to mom and tell. Say no; they don’t want fighters, they want the ones who don’t resist.” They don’t resist because they don’t know to resist, she said, citing a case of a counselor who had a private room between two bunks and brought the campers in there to abuse them.
Dr. Schulman cautioned about girls who are “into touchy-touchy stuff, massaging” each other. “I have seen where the relationship is too physical. It’s not homosexual but something is invested. They shouldn’t be touching all the time. Teach them to keep their private space; nobody has to touch.”