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November 15, 2000

(from "Lady With a Lot of Questions" article, Nov/Dec. 2000)
6. “Did you allow your children to go to sleepovers or play outings at a friend's house? If so, how did you assure yourself that she would not be subjected to abuse of any kind—especially sexual? I have always heard that most molestation is perpetrated by a family friend or relative that is trusted.”
You heard right. If you read our mail you would NEVER let your child have sleep-overs with other kids. When our porn article came out, we got a flood of letters from adults who were exposed to porn while sleeping over with a good friend or relative, or had friends over to their house that brought it with them. These adults say that from the age of six or seven, when they first saw the pictures, they were addicted and have been all their lives. We also receive so many letters from people who for years were molested by their brother's friends while the family slept. The little girls were always too sleepy and confused to be able to tell what was happening to them every Friday night when big brother had his friends over. Parents never knew why little Suzy was such a problem when she turned 13 years old. I will repeat: anyone that has ever counseled or read as many letters as we do would NEVER open their children up to this possibility. It is too common and too terrible.


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5 comments on “Sleepovers”

  1. Thanks so much for this article. My kids are ages 9 and 7 and they aren't allowed to do sleepovers and I am so happy to see I am right in my decision. I so often feel guilty with my decisions regarding my kids, like they are missing out on a part of their life, thank you for reinforcing the importance of home and family!

  2. Hi. I have read several articles in the last 24 hours about not allowing my child to go to sleepovers. My son has had 2 sleepovers at our house and one at another house so far and he is just 7. I understand the hyper awareness as I was abused by a family member in my own home, on a Sunday afternoon one time. It's scary.
    However, I was just thinking about sending my son to an overnight Christian camp for 2 nights and he really wants to go. Would this be considered a "sleepover" and not to advise it or because there will be several other people around including kids and counselors do you think this is safer?
    Thanks for your advice.

    1. Seven is to young for a camp sleepover unless it would include the fathers. I suggest that you read Training Children To Be Strong In Spirit to help you train your son to internalize his standards and convictions in preparation for the times he will not be under your direct supervision. Each child is different, but most children would not be prepared for sleepovers or overnight camp situations until their early teens at the earliest. Multiple adults do make it safer and most camps will have rigid standards and vetting processes for counselors (but this screening can only eliminate abusers that have already been caught). In these situations, it is usually other children, who have themselves been exposed to abuse that are the greater concern.

      1. Thanks. While I complete trust my son, his judgement and this camp and counselors as well, we are not going to have him go this time. I said it was because his friend wasn't going and I wanted them to be able to watch out for each other. My son is pretty good about policing himself and others and what is right and wrong, but you are right that if he is in a situation where he needs to "obey" an older person in authority or he gets stuck in a situation with another child and doesn't know what to do he may not have the strength to say anything or get away. Thanks again for your advice.