on keeping our kids close.

I struggled with this last post. It seems so unnatural for me to talk “shop” here.

I started this blog as a way to express the moments behind the shots I took – why I love them or what drew me to the composition or color or scene. But this post is different. I rarely post about “work” but love how these turned out. And they turned out spectacularly (in my humble opinion) for many reasons – the composition, the subject matter (my nephew), the lighting, and the fact that it was my first commercial studio shoot.)

This shoot was for a children’s advocacy program in Indiana that focused on childhood sexual abuse. What a horrible thing. I was fortunate enough to escape this hardship in my life. Many others haven’t been.The statistics are staggering: In North America,  approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children. Most offenders are acquainted with their victims – approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances  – such as ‘friends’ of the family, babysitters, or neighbors. (Courtesy of Wikipedia – or whatever I have to say to not get in trouble for stealing their info.)

Staggering.  One in 4 women. That means you know someone.  One in 6 men. That means you know someone. And it happened with their family. Or someone they know. Someone they trust. Someone they love. That is repulsive.

As I explained the shot I needed to my test group (read:family) in the studio, I told them differently. I told them I was shooting this for the monsters in the world. These monsters are not your average monsters, for they look like you and me. They aren’t in costumes or makeup. Sometimes they don’t even looks scary. But they lurk everywhere. In parks. Stores. Corners. And behind bushes. In bathrooms. And theatres. But the scariest part about them is they LOOK JUST LIKE YOU AND ME. Same clothes. Same hair. Same skin. Sometimes you even thought you loved them.

Needless to say they listened. With intent. And heart. And each one of them got the shot – spot on.

I am glad they understood. I am glad they know. I want them all to be aware of this horrible thing. It is simply a horrific tragedy in such an “educated” society.

So this post is to remind you to remind them. Look at your kids today and remind them it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to trust their intuition. And it’s okay to tell on a grown up or someone older or bigger than them. It’s okay to tattle.

I know I will be telling my child this every night for the rest of his life! And knowing who he is with.

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