As soon as our children are old enough to understand the concept of ‘stranger danger’ we drill it in. “Don’t speak to strangers”, “don’t accept gifts from strangers”, “don’t leave the house / school / playgrounds with people you don’t know”. But what happens when the people we’ve chosen to look after our most precious bundles are the very ones that hurt and abuse them?

Going through Facebook posts earlier this week I came across a youtube video simply titled Child Abuse. I’m not big on sensationalism and I don’t enjoy watching things like this. I get upset. I get angry. And I lose a little more faith in humankind. But I watched it. Or at least a few seconds and then had to stop.

Clips from the video repeated in my mind and I kept asking myself how someone does this to the most vulnerable and helpless among us.I tried to understand how an adult behaves this way towards a baby. I wondered what he had done to ‘warrant’ so much anger and I even thought whether any long term damage had been caused, mentally and emotionally.

Chances are these parents got references on Jeannine Campbell, met with her, interviewed her and only once they felt comfortable, hired her. There’s a good chance, like a lot of moms and dads I know, they feel a huge amount of guilt, for putting their baby in harm’s way. They are probably doubting their ability to judge peoples characters and more likely than not, they are questioning their worth as parents.

I’ve always thought one of my better traits is that I trust people. I give them the benefit of the doubt and I try and instill that in Emma. If one of her friend’s hurt her I ‘defend’ their actions by saying something like ‘I’m sure it was a mistake’ or ‘as long as you’re friends again’.

But now I’m wondering what happens if my faith in people is the very thing that puts my children in a situation  similar to this. Or even worse?


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