My daughter has always had a close relationship with her father (my ex-husband). But the other day I found out that she’s been exposed to pornography at his house. What should I do?
Your first responsibility is to protect your daughter from further harm. We’re so sorry she’s been exposed to the twisted world of pornography.
Children who accidentally stumble onto pornography are often extremely upset by the exposure (rightly so!). What’s more, a child can be sexually abused without ever being touched. In fact, some sex addicts get a sick thrill out of watching the shocked expression on a child’s face when exposed to pornography.
We’re not suggesting that was your ex-husband’s intent. But it’s important to point out that this kind of activity can have serious legal ramifications.
Where to find help
Our advice is to contact a reputable lawyer as soon as possible. Describe your ex-husband’s behavior and its damaging effects on your daughter.
You may also want to get in touch with your local Child Protective Services (CPS) agency to determine whether this is a reportable incident. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to cite names or divulge specific information. Simply present a hypothetical case and ask the agent how situations of this nature are generally handled. If you can’t easily find a phone number for CPS, ask your local police or sheriff’s department for the info. (You can also contact Childhelp at 1-800-422-4453.)
For more personal guidance, call our Counseling department for a free over-the-phone consultation. We’ll give you some tips for explaining to your daughter the difference between forgiving her dad and subjecting herself to possible further abuse. And we’ll pray with you, asking the Lord to guide and protect you and surround your daughter’s mind with the healing presence of His Spirit.
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Sex Education (resource list)