- In Arizona the Saguaro cactus is one of many plants that is protected by the Native Plant Protection Act. Vandalism or removal is illegal. Even homeowners must obtain a permit from the Arizona Department of Agriculture to remove this protected native plant from their property.
- The organization worldwildlife.org helps to protect and conserve the world’s wildlife. Their website offers a species directory where they list endangered wildlife and their conservation status: vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered.
All around us people and/or organizations want to make a difference in our world. They see a problem, something that needs protection, and attempt to find a solution.
When I was 5, I didn’t know I needed protection from my 4 wolves. I was young and innocent and I trusted my parents. They gave these relatives unrestricted access to me. Why wouldn’t they? We were family.
It has taken me a long time to accept the painful truth – my protectors (parents) were careless, neglectful and sleeping on the job. They left me alone with these people and in fact (for a period of time) allowed one of them to share a bedroom with me. Blind, neglectful trust.
These words may sound harsh but are absolutely true.
I was not their only victim – many other people were violated both in and outside the family.
I’ve experienced denial, grief, anger, sadness, acceptance and forgiveness regarding their role. My purpose in sharing this is to ask the following questions?
In your family:
- Have you ever questioned behavior or actions toward young family members by other family members?
- Has another family member made you feel “creepy” for no reason at all?
- Is there a family member seem to “take interest” in younger family members?
- Do any family members overly compliment or seem to have a special relationship with others in the family?
- Is there anyone in the family who thinks it’s funny to make inappropriate comments?
- Is there a young family member who seems overly quiet or uncomfortable, or “acts out” at gatherings?
Answering yes doesn’t always mean there is a problem. However, it’s so easy to think “Oh, he/she is just our crazy aunt/uncle.cousin” “They’ve had a rough life – we need to give them a break” “We only have to see them every once in a while”. As protectors we all need to open our eyes.
I’m not saying that everyone is a wolf, but we need to realize they DO exist and sometimes in our families. In my family, I wish someone would have spoken up sooner and muzzled these wolves.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a pattern of protecting the violators. I’ve been told many times to “get over it” while my abusers continued to have a solid footing within the family.
Trust your gut instincts and speak up! Stepping in and questioning can do 2 things: 1. Put the wolf on alert that you’re watching 2. Send a powerful message to the family member they have a protector. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “that could never happen”. If it isn’t true (be thankful) and move on – it should always be okay to ask questions and error on the side of the child. Remember in a previous post I mentioned my abuser said to me “I don’t know why I did it – everyone was doing it”.
Someone knew something and never spoke up or stepped in!
I encourage each of you to pray, open your eyes and act if necessary. Your decision to help will change that family members status from: vulnerable, endangered and/or critically endangered to PROTECTED.