Home » Articles posted by Suzanne Alden

Boys Will Be (Real) Boys

This article is part 8 of 8 in the column Children of the State

A few weeks ago, a friend stumbled across a picture of her 10-year-old son and his younger cousin that threw her for a loop.

While visiting a pirate museum with family, the two boys became intrigued with a statue of a scantily clad woman dressed like a female version of a pirate. His grandmother snapped a picture of the smiling boys, one on either side of the statue—each boy with his hand carefully placed on the woman’s nearly bare chest. My friend was horrified. “He’s only 10!” she cried. “Don’t they realize that’s wrong?” She glanced at me for my opinion. “Um… teachable moment?” I suggested. Read more

The Trafficker in Sheep’s Clothing

This article is part 5 of 8 in the column Children of the State

Danielle was 14 when she met the man who would soon become her worst nightmare.

“I was adopted by a good Christian family,” she tells me during a recent interview. “I had a great relationship with my father. But when I hit puberty, I was molested and my mom didn’t help. So I ran away.”

Not long after, while waiting for the bus, a man approached her. “He offered me a place to stay, food, all the things I needed. He pumped me full of drugs, then threw me in a room with a bunch of guys and I was for sale.” The man she thought was her knight in shining armor was a human sex trafficker in disguise. Read more

Telling The Ugly Truth About Sex Abuse

This article is part 4 of 8 in the column Children of the State

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” didn’t work for the military, and it doesn’t work for the deeply troubling issue of sexual assault either.

Our culture’s longstanding fear of asking and telling about sexual assault has contributed to an epidemic rate of child sexual abuse (1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005). As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I can attest to the deep shame surrounding this issue that keeps both survivors and everyone else silent.

We should consider an alternative approach Read more

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