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Stolen Innocence (Book Review)

Article Index
Stolen Innocence (Book Review)
Vicarious Victimization
The Lauren Stratford Connection
Conclusion

by Gretchen Passaintino

Copyright © 1994 by Gretchen Passantino.

Permission is granted for non-commercial replication of or excerpting from this material, provided (1) that appropriate notice is included of its copyright status, as above, and (2) that an appropriate reference to the Answers In Action name, address and phone number be included with all replicated and excerpted material.
(Don't Make Me Go Back, Mommy written by Doris Sanford and illustrated by Graci Evans. Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1990, 24 pp., $7.95 hardcover.)

My eyes opened in the dark bedroom. I could only see the small, hunched shape of my seven year old son as he stumbled toward the bed. Paul's soft sobs had wakened me. "Mommy, Mommy, hold me, Mommy! Don't let the bad guy get me, Mommy!" I lifted the edge of the covers and settled him into bed between my husband and me. Paul buried his face in my shoulder and clung tightly to my neck. I snuggled him close and stroked his back.

"It's okay, Baby, Mommy and Daddy are here." I continued murmuring reassurances to him, praying for Jesus to give him peace. Slowly he quieted and drifted to sleep, secure in my arms. Such a big, strong, fearless boy -- and yet so vulnerable. His baby sitter had let him watch a violent, scary thriller on video and this was the third night he had fallen victim in his dreams to the bad memories. I carefully controlled my anger at the baby sitter. After all, she hadn't meant to scare Paul. She thought it was a good movie. The bad guys were really bad, but the good guys won. And it was a "reality-based drama," not some psycho thriller science fiction monster. And yet here was my young son, only in first grade and already trying to grapple with the moral consequences of international drug dealing, political torture, and cold blooded murder. No child should be exploited by fear, even unwittingly, even when it's "reality-based."