4 Factors That Put Your Teen at Risk for Sexual Assault

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We can make sure our daughters aren't vulnerable to sexual assault. (http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

In dark, loud basements, girls accept drinks, are pulled onto dance floors to be ground and groped and, later, often having lost sight of their friends, led into bathrooms or up the stairs for privacy.

Question for Parents: Are you diligently training your daughters on the buddy system? Are you teaching her that when she is at a party or with a group she doesn't know well she must stay close to her trusted friends. (If alcohol is involved, this advice is even more essential.)

Being Emotionally Disconnected from Parents (Especially Dad)

Nothing will make a young woman vulnerable to the influence of a (perhaps evil-willed) young man than an inadequate relationship with her parents. While I thought the following characterization of the rape victim in the Rolling Stone article sounded a bit trite, it still rang true:

Jackie had a strained relationship with her father, in whose eyes she'd never felt good enough, and always responded by exceeding expectations—honor roll, swim team, first-chair violin – becoming the role model for her two younger brothers. Jackie had been looking forward to college as an escape—a place to, even, defy her parents' wishes and go to a frat party.

Too many of our young women are left open to the dishonorable advances of men because they are looking to fill empty places that have been left there by their fathers. A girl will likely be vulnerable if she hasn't been taught that she is loved, that she has incredible worth, and that she should diligently guard every part of her personal identity ... which includes her sexuality.

Question for Parents: How is the heart connection that you have with your daughters? Does she feel safe and secure in your unconditional love and acceptance?

I hate the world that we live in. I hate that we have to even have these discussions. I wish that every man was hardwired with a degree of chivalry and a default position of showing extravagant honor to every woman. (Thank God that there are still men men who are like this.) But sadly, the world is broken and has plenty of young men who will look for any weakness they can find to take advantage of women. That includes your girls and mine. None of them gets a free pass.

May we be parents who diligently train our daughters to be strong, confident, and cautious. And may we train our sons to be the men of valor who are willing to guard and protect women at any cost to themselves.

After serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer Johnson launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. They have a heart for newlyweds, marriages at mid-life, and parents who want to help their kids enter marriage without a ton of sexual and relational baggage.

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