A mum and blogger has opened up about why she won’t let her children attend sleepovers, revealing that she was sexually abused as a child and worries the same will happen to her kids.
Elizabeth Broadbent has written a post for parenting website Scary Mommy, explaining the upsetting reason why she has banned her children from having sleepovers.
The mum blogger starts her post by recalling a disturbing experience that happened to her when she was seven years old while staying over at a friend’s house.
Describing the friend only as ‘her’, Elizabeth makes it clear that her ‘parents never even knew’ before recalling how she was molested.
‘It happened the first time at her house. I was seven years old, the same age that my oldest son is now. She told me her cousin taught her how to do something that made you feel good. Then she proceeded to molest me.’
The mother-of-three continues to reveal that as the sleepovers with her friend continued, as did the sexual activity between them, leading Elizabeth to feel ‘scared’ and ‘worried’.
‘They scared me. I worried I would get pregnant because I didn’t know how that worked.’
Describing how she felt ‘dirty’ and ‘ashamed’, the mum admits that she eventually stopped speaking to her friend and found the experience difficult to talk about.
‘I felt dirty, guilty, ashamed, sad. Eventually, I plucked up the courage to ghost her. I pretended I was always busy when she invited me over. Our mothers stopped running the same Girl Scout troop. I never told anyone until college.
‘This is why I don’t allow my children to go on sleepovers.’
According to Darkness to Light, a child sexual abuse prevention organisation, Elizabeth recounts that ‘as many as 40% of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children. This could include that sleepover buddy, or that sleepover buddy’s older sibling.’
The blogger continues to point out that ‘kids are most vulnerable between ages seven and 13’, which is, as Elizabeth calls it, ‘prime sleepover time’.
Admitting she doesn’t know ‘which kids, or parents, to trust’, Elizabeth has completely banned sleepovers but confesses that she worries a time will come when her children don’t obey those rules any more.
‘As they get older, I don’t know that we’ll be able to keep our ban going.
‘When the time comes, we’ll definitely make sure there’s adequate supervision.’
To be prepared, the mum has already decided she will be upfront with other parents and plans to have a close eye on all sleepovers. ‘I’d rather be upfront about my fears than have something happen to my kids. I don’t want my kids molested. I don’t want my kids exposed to porn.
‘So I’m sorry, but they won’t be staying overnight at your place – because you just never know. My parents didn’t.’