Dr. Molly Barrow

The Official Dr. Molly Barrow Blog offers educational self help advice about relationships, business, dating, marriage, parenting, teenagers and children, self-esteem, love and romance. Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of Matchlines for Singles and the self-esteem adventure series, Malia and Teacup Awesome African Adventure and Malia and Teacup Out on a Limb. Dr. Molly is a relationship and psychology expert host on progressiveradionnetwork.com and television guest.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Relationship Exert Author and Television Radio Guest Self Help Dr. Molly Barrow talks about Child Molest

When faced with a decision about a "potential" molestation of your child and separating from the partner you love based on suspicion, what can you do?

1. Separate the accused from the child totally. Children may be confused about sex but usually they do not lie about sex, only because the subject is agonizingly uncomfortable for them to talk about. If your child says someone touched them and begins to cry or be noticeably upset, you must stay calm and quiet. This gate of information may open only ONE time and then be closed permanently if you frighten or react in an alarming way for the child. They will misinterpret your reaction as anger toward them or begin to embellish for attention. Remain neutral even as your gut rolls over. Stay cool and explain that you need to know everything about it to decide if it a little problem or a big problem. Then let the child talk or show you with their dolls what happened. Once you call in Child Services or the police , the control of prosecution, trial and sentencing belongs to the state and you can not stop the process should you discover it was not true. The consequences to the accused are lifelong and devastating.
2. Should you tell someone? Yes. A trusted friend, family member or your therapist can steady you at this time.
3. If the accused perpetrator is in the house with the child and is actively trying to part of the solution, that is a good sign. Denials such as "I did not do it" or minimizing excuses as, "Maybe I was asleep or drunk," etc. Should be followed by statements and action such as: "I must never be in a position to be falsely accused again," or "Never will I sleep in the same bed with the child," or "I must never have access to the child if I am drinking", or "I quit drinking/ drugging" would indicate they are putting the child's welfare first in a "preventive way." The truth is sometimes, but RARELY, children do falsely accuse, people do dream that they are with a sexual partner and a child (in the same bed) is mistaken for that partner, and often people become idiots without boundaries when they are drunk or drugged. If that person makes great efforts to keep the child safe, maybe the family can stay together but the subject should be out in the open. For example: if you had a family member who was a sleep walker, the whole family would work on keeping that from happening. Sirens, film cameras, sleep monitors, and locks work. Reassuring promises often don't work and are simply not good enough.
4. If the accused perpetrator makes it about themselves and not the child, ask them to stay elsewhere until everyone calms down and you have time to think.
5. The child must be de-shamed, by your attitude and saying that it is the perpetrator behavior is wrong, and the child is going to be fine, undamaged, good as new. Be sure to say this is not a problem for the child to solve but that you must be the one to solve it. Reassure the child that they did everything the right way. Tell them that there will be other times when they are older that someone might try to hurt them or touch them and that they should try to avoid that danger and always always tell. Say that you yourself have to watch out for people who are like that, too. Let them know that we all have to work hard at staying safe because some people do not know how to behave properly, and they have to help you by always letting you know.

Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, “Matchlines: A Revolutionary New Way of Looking at Relationships and Making the Right Choices in Love,” ISBN 159507158X. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert in the film, My Suicide, documentaries Ready to Explode and KTLA Impact, NBC news, PBS In Focus, WBZT talk radio and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday, The Nest, MSN.com, Yahoo, Match.com, N Magazine, Women’s Health and Women’s World. Please visit: http://www.askdrmolly.com
To read articles by Dr. Molly please visit: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Molly_Barrow


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