Reading her message literally made me freeze. I thought maybe I had misread her text (we were both at work and unable to physically chat) but I hadn't. The tiny silver lining to this very dark cloud is that my student actually told her mother about what had happened to her. I know that I didn't tell mine.
My abuser was also a relative. It started when I was six. About 10 years back, I wrote a story about it that I have since lost (that was two computers ago). I don't think I even told my mom until I was in my late teens or early 20s. Since she passed away 21 years ago, there were only four folks still on the planet who know about what happened to me - including my attacker and myself (the others are my beloved and my best friend, who was also sexually abused by a family memeber when she was a child). Unfortunately, me, my best friend and my student are not alone.
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), one in six American women will be victims of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime - about 17.7 million folks (about 2.78 milion men have also been victms). Fifteen percent of those almost 18 million women are under the age of 12 when they were assaulted. In the US, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes and this year, the total tally will reach somewhere around 207,754 - most of whom will be assaulted by someone that they know. To me, those stats are absolutely insane.
Emotionally, things have run the gamut for me since I heard about my student. At first I was horrified, then very sad for my young student when I thought about what she'd experienced. Next I got very angry, thinking selfishly that some of the tools I helped her sharpen on the mat could possibly have saved her somehow (of course that ain't necessarily the case). After that, I became six-year-old me again - the same confused and scared person who thought that what happened was somehow my fault, which was the biggest reason I think I didn't tell anyone until I was an adult. Telling her mom about the abuse I suffered felt like the right thing to do when we talked. I also told training partner, Ed later in the day. Now I'm telling you.
The legal end of this is now in full swing as the police and Child Protective Services are involved and a connection has been made to SATU - the county's Sexual Abuse Treatment Unit - to help all concerned deal with the trauma via counseling and other things. Add physical exams and interviews with police and it has been very stressful week for the family. It will probably be stressful for a while.
My adult student and I spoke a little while ago. She says she's just doing what needs to be done to protect her child - a sort of "auto-pilot" if you will. My concern is that once the immediate "Just. Get. It. Done." thinking has worn off, she will feel some sort of guilt for not being able to keep her child safe. Although it wasn't her fault at all, I can understand that thinking - because being an instructor she sees for four hours a week as well as a sexual abuse survivor, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel some guilt as well. Misguided, perhaps, but it is what it is.
So my question is this: while there are lots of MA programs that touch on bullying, I haven't heard much about things like "good touch/bad touch"-type programs after pre-school or kindergarten, much less that are designed to be used in a martial arts setting. Do such programs exist? Can anyone point me to a curriculum? I'd really like to find out more.