My friends and family all know I'm more than a little nutty about keeping my children safe. Our friend in France has a 7 foot high locked iron gate surrounding her house—a feature I've been jealously remembering since we stayed with her two years ago. When my kids go outside to play, I'm right there. I get nervous when we play hide and seek and the little one hides too well. There are few people I'll leave my kids with, and when my cell phone rings when I'm away from them, I clutch my chest thinking who's bleeding? Who's missing? Is everything okay? Before I go to bed, I always go into my kids' room to fix their blankets, kiss their faces, and thank God that we're all under one roof, and safe.
Though I was never the victim of abuse, even as a child, I had a hazy awareness that abuse happened. In the late 1980s, my father, a pastor then between churches, spent a year at the New York City Bureau of Child Welfare, investigating cases of alleged abuse and following up on children who ...1