Predator-Proof Your Family2023-03-21T02:59:32+00:00

It’s Important After All

Yesterday my husband and I were sitting by a window overlooking a golf course, enjoying amazing Greek salads. A tall man approached our table rather tentatively and said he’d seen me and thought he’d say hi. I remembered him as a relatively quiet man, a member of a church I once attended, but yesterday he was chatty. After catching up on family news, he began to say goodbye but suddenly stopped, turned towards me and looked at me intently.

“I need you to know how you helped me,” he said. “I read one of your posts awhile ago about a help group for men who had been abused as children. You said many of these men had never told anyone about their abuse but were finally breaking their silence and seeking help. I am 68 years old and have gone all through my life never telling anyone that I was abused by a babysitter when I was about seven years old. I’ve held this dark secret all these years and have gone all through my life feeling guilty about allowing it to happen to me. Not a day has gone by when I haven’t chastised myself for not running away or saying no or doing something to stop it. When I read your post, I saw that the help group was a couple of hours from my home and I could go there anonymously – so I went. And I shared my story for the first time. I’ve been going now for awhile and am actually starting to have days when I don’t think about the abuse. I’ve made peace with the little boy inside who didn’t run away or stop the abuse. Now I understand the misplaced feelings of guilt and the condemning voices have been silenced. I can’t change what happened, but my life is starting to feel better. Thank you.”

I was amazed. There are many days when I wonder what I’m doing in this battle and feel like I’m not accomplishing anything. I keep telling myself that somehow I’ve got to bring some good – some higher purpose – out of the abuse that happened to my kids. I can’t allow the shattering of our family to have happened for nothing. Yesterday’s encounter reminded me that the battle is not over. I can’t put my sword/pen down. Everyone who is out there trying to protect kids from predators and trying to be there for those who have been wounded needs to keep going. You don’t know whose life you are impacting with your efforts.

By |June 23, 2017|Predator-Proof Your Family|

Hearing the Voices

For generations past, the voices of the abused have been silenced behind closed doors. They were the muffled screams or sobs of victims or, after the fact, hushed whispers between devastated siblings or friends. Often, the voices were locked away as memories, never allowed the relief of release. Child sexual abuse was seldom revealed or acknowledged, whether from shame, fear of not being believed or in efforts to protect the perpetrators.

But those voices have lingered in memories and in the damage done to the lives of the victims. They haven’t gone away. They’ve been waiting in the shadows of time, needing to be heard, needing to be validated, needing to find strength with others, saying, “No more.”

While the silence is being shattered all around the world with an avalanche of disclosures started by the rock slide of revelations of clergy abuses in 2002, Australia has taken a huge step forward by funding a $277.9 million dollar “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.” Starting this week, it will examine the conduct of all major institutions that have the responsibility of looking after children. Scouts Australia, the Salvation Army, the YMCA and the Catholic Church are among the first to be targeted. According to ABC News, few are likely to be spared scrutiny.

The establishment of the royal commission came a year after it was discovered that a paedophile had been given trusted roles involving children. Steven Larkins had been one of the nation’s most senior leaders in the area of child protection. Those who knew and worked with him were dumbfounded to learn of how he rose to trusted roles.

The commission’s chief, Janette Dines, says, “We believe the public will be shocked to begin to learn just how difficult life has been for people who have experienced child sexual abuse in an institution….We’ve had an overwhelming response – 5,000 have called the royal commission and at least 2,000 of those have expressed interest in coming forward and talking to the royal commissioner.” The work of the commission is expected to be a “nation-changing event.”

The ways institutions usually handled allegations of sexual misconduct are undergoing radical changes around the world. Awareness of abuse—and how allegations are handled—has fundamentally changed since the Catholic Church’s crisis erupted.

David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, claims* that many institutions are now run by people with modern attitudes about the effects of abuse who are not afraid to confront painful issues that were once hushed up. “Having more women in leadership makes a difference, as they may be more sensitive in handling these episodes, supporting the victims and encouraging other people to come forward.”

Marci Hamilton, a professor of Law and one of the United States’ foremost critics of how religious groups handle abuse, was recently quoted* as saying, “Change is happening, but also the pace of change is quickening. State legislators are more educated. The public is more knowledgeable.”

While most institutions are now aware of the importance of having protective standards, policies and procedures in place to ensure the protection of the children in their care, accessing the most effective procedures to implement is critical.

The key lies in preventing incidents of abuse before they need to be “handled.” That’s where the WKI ® “Plan to Protect™” comes in. Its policies have become the recognized standard for abuse prevention and detection. Individuals and organizations not yet taking advantage of the assistance available to protect kids, can access the “Plan to Protect™” at

*The Rockland County News, New York, Sept. 14, 2013 article by Gary Stern and Mareesa Nicosia

©Diane Roblin-Lee, Sept. 15, 2013

By |September 16, 2013|Predator-Proof Your Family|


It’s not fun standing before a group of strangers telling about how I lived with a child molester for 38 years, knowing absolutely nothing about his dark thoughts, re-entrance into pornography or secret life of victimizing two young girls. Every time I speak, I have to unscrew the jar that holds memories that shattered my family. They come tumbling out and I have to grab them and force them to stand, exposed, before the crowd in all their shame. I point to them and say, “Look at what happened to my family – don’t let it happen to yours.” And then I tell them what I have learned about how to keep kids safe.

As I stand alone behind the podium, my words reach out to each unknown person and I wonder what parts of their hearts I am touching. Are they victims, hiding the secrets of their past in the shadows of their minds? Are they moms, wondering if the nice men who have been so helpful with their kids, are actually grooming them for perverse plans? Are they wives, wondering about the dynamics of their families?

Finally, my talk is over and I invite anyone who has questions or would like to talk, to come and speak with me. Many of the stories I hear have never before broken the silence of their secrecy. Emboldened by what they have just heard, people stammer out situation after situation of brutality, betrayal, confusion, perversity and pain –  things they have kept secret all their lives.

It can be an excruciating process for victims to find their voices and gather the boldness to reveal what happened to them in their past, but when it comes, the liberation of being validated by people who believe them is boundless – and the possibility of preventing their perpetrators from harming others is heightened.

Through bringing light into dark memories and exposing what predators have done for centuries, the way society views child sex abuse is changing. The shame is shifting from the victims to the place it belongs – to the predators. It’s a huge relief to many victims to shed the burden of secret shame they may have carried for years and to know they’re not alone. Gradually, the fear of being judged negatively is slipping away in the realization that it’s okay to talk about the things that have haunted them.

This month, a litany of new charges, for alleged offences between 1965 and 1984, were laid against Gordon Stuckless, dubbed the “Monster of Maple Leaf Gardens.” While some may wonder why it has taken the alleged victims so long to come forward, it is no mystery to Theo Fleury, who was molested by former junior hockey coach, Graham James. It took 27 years for Theo to finally talk about it. His teammate, Sheldon Kennedy, went public about his abuse under Graham James 15 years earlier. Together, they encourage others to come forward as they did and feel the empowerment they have found.

But it’s not just about a swell of victims finding their voices; it’s about making those voices resonate throughout society and the legal system to send a message to predators that they can no longer count on silence and shame to hide them, and that we need to find ways to protect kids. Child sexual abuse has become epidemic.

The WKI® “Plan to Protect™” needs to be established and implemented in every organization where children are involved  – schools, churches, clubs, sports facilities, child care centers, etc. As the protocols become familiar to volunteers and workers who use them in their interactions with children, they will become acknowledged, expected protocols in society in general, giving a greater measure of safety to our little ones.

Candid revelations of offences, an atmosphere of safety in revealing secrets, having the sound policies of “Plan to Protect™” in place and giving predators an expectation of severe punishment are all critical factors in turning the tide on child sexual abuse.

It’s a lot of work, but we can do it – together.

© Diane Roblin-Lee

By |September 2, 2013|Predator-Proof Your Family|

Canada – for Kids! Canada Day Reflections

Q. What’s it like in Canada for a kid who is being abused?

A. – Not much different than for a kid who is being abused in Thailand or Cambodia, or any other part of the world where predators corner them in isolation and indulge their twisted perversions.

Abuse is abuse. The cry of desperation from a little boy or girl is the same, whether coming from the heart of a child walking the dirt streets of Uganda, dressed in tattered rags; or from the heart of a Canadian child, weeping on a frothy, pink bedspread, with her GapKid clothes strewn where her uncle threw them a few minutes before.

A couple of nights ago, I listened to John Perks of “Be A Hero” tell about the estimated 10 million kids around the world who have been forced into the sex industry (

But this is Canada – our home and native land, where true patriot hearts beat in the hearts of our sons – the true north, strong and free.

Recently, some ministry friends of mine, who minister on the streets, were telling me about the reality of sex-slavery in Canada. But who sees the sad-eyed girls being herded into hotels for a three or four night stay? Who notices them being hustled off by their dead-eyed traffickers to the next town, before they can be tracked. Oh Canada…

Abuse. Sex-slavery. Traffickers. Predators. Tears. Despair. The maple leaf. It gets overwhelming. Are we doing anything about it?

Well, increasingly, there is a framework for action. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child came into effect in 1990. In 2000, an additional protocol, prohibiting the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography was adopted. In March, 2001, Bill C-15 was adopted in Canada to respond more effectively to new technologies that threaten the security of our children.

Last week, (June 17th) the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced that Canada is joining the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online. The purpose of the Global Alliance is to fight Internet predators and hunt down purveyors of child abuse images online. Identifying and helping victims, putting offenders behind bars, reducing the availability of online child pornography and increasing awareness are its goals. “Child sexual exploitation is a horrific crime. Canada continues to lead, support and implement numerous initiatives, domestically and abroad, to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children, but no country can fight this crime alone,” said Minister Nicholson.

We at Winning Kids Inc. are doing all we can to raise awareness and put Plan to Protect protocols in place in schools, organizations, churches and facilities. If we can save one child from abuse, we know we have saved a whole family from a lifetime of pain and struggle.

Frameworks for action are good – but sometimes people have to act spontaneously, either with others or alone; either within a framework or out of their own inclinations. The point is, that action is an individual thing, just as abuse is an individual thing. We can’t wait for “someone else to fix it” or for laws and protocols to magically protect children. We have to act. Each of us. All of us. At a moment’s notice. If we see a child in danger, we must respond, not turn away or go into denial.

If we see a child in danger, we must respond, not turn away or go into denial.

Q. What’s it like in Canada for a child who has never known abuse?

A. Glorious.

© Diane Roblin-Lee, June 28/2013

By |June 28, 2013|Predator-Proof Your Family|

The End of Silence

Simon and Garfunkel sang, “Hello darkness my old friend… within the sounds of silence”


Silence has been, since the dawn of time, a luxury for predators. It has been their friend. Within the protective walls of silence, they allowed their basest desires unbridled freedom. They touched children in private places that were designed to be discovered by brides and bridegrooms. They stirred areas in the brains of children that were never meant to be stimulated until they were grown. They pretended to befriend vulnerable children in locker rooms, summer camps, homes, schools, churches and wherever trusting parents took their little ones.

But hardly anyone ever told. My mother was 94 years old before she told me she had been raped as a four-year-old child. Not even my father knew in all their 60 years of marriage.

Until recent years, victims didn’t tell about abuse for a variety of reasons. Most felt so defiled that they felt they bore – or at least shared – the shame of the experience. Some were instructed that, if they told, their families would be harmed, or love would be withdrawn from them, or… on and on with a myriad of locks slammed shut by predators.

And so victims suffered in silence with flashbacks of unspeakable things being done to them, nightmares and blockages from living normal, healthy lives, always feeling ‘different’ from others.

But the song continues:

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you…”

A number of years ago, we heard a small voice saying, “I was abused when I was a child…” It was a tentative voice, breaking the silence like drill making the first hole in veneer. It was joined by another voice, “It happened to me, too…” and another voice… The voices became louder and the bearers became stronger. Their knees stopped shaking and their chins quivered less, as society enfolded them with assurances that they bore no shame.

What a revelation! What relief! Suddenly, they discovered that the shame, which had so unjustly burdened them, belonged to the predators – not to them! The threats of harm had been, in most cases, smoke and mirrors, whose only reality lay in their ability to immobilize victims in fear.

Thanks to the gathering swell of voices, it’s manly to expose the abuse suffered as a child. It’s empowering for women to step out of the silence that held them captive.

Today’s newspaper shared the story of the Toronto Blue Jay’s R.A. Dickey, one of today’s top athletes in baseball. He’s written a memoir entitled, “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball.” It exposes the sexual abuse and sometimes overwhelming struggles of his journey.

Because of the voices that have gone before his, preparing the way for acceptance and understanding, Dickey was able to write an authentic story of his faith and path to victory over victimization.

The last verse of the song reads, “‘The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls’
And whispered in the sounds of silence.”

Truth will always come out. This tide of revelation is not going to stop. It has gathered momentum with a surge of hope for freedom from shame. The breakers of truth are smashing against the protective walls of silence and shattering old expectations of safety for predators.

If you are a predator, it is time for your knees to shake and your chin to quiver – because silence has ended.

© Diane Roblin-Lee Apr. 15, 2013
For books on protecting children by Diane Roblin-Lee, please go to:

By |April 15, 2013|Predator-Proof Your Family|

Predators Live Among Us – Book Launch

Spotting Potential Child Molesters

It’s pretty hard to protect our kids if we don’t know who the potential molesters might be. The problem is that predators wear masks made to look like trustworthy, safe people.

In the course of researching her book, Identifying Child Molesters, Dr. Carla van Dam interviewed over 300 molesters who exhibited similar types of behaviors in social situations. These similar behaviors provide us with a general pattern to watch for. If an individual exhibits enough of these behaviors to arouse concern, he needs to be considered too risky to allow unsupervised around our children.

Any suggested warning signs need to be viewed within the context of an individual’s life. For instance, if someone enjoys playing with children in the company of other adults, that’s normal. If someone is a particularly helpful person but doesn’t seek out the company of children, that’s a wonderful thing. However, if combinations of the warning signs are evident, there’s cause for concern and children need to be carefully watched around these people.

Predator-Proof Your Family – Series

Predator-Proof Your Family is a series of nine, 50-page booklets on issues surrounding child sexual-abuse.

#1 Why all the Fuss?

Why All the Fuss?

#2 Who is the Predator?

Who is the Predator?

#3 Predator-Proofing our Children

Predator Proofing our Children

#4 Predators in Pews & Pulpits

Predators in Pews & Pulpits

#5 The Porn Factor

The Porn Factor

#6 It’s all About the Brain

It's All About The Brain

#7 When the Worst That Could Happen Has Already Happened

When the Worst That Could Happen Has Already Happened

#8 Smart Justice

Smart Justice

#9 The Husband I Never Knew

The husband I never knew book cover

Purchase your copies of the 9 booklet series, Predator-Proof Your Family!

Disclaimer & Copyright

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not constitute part of the curriculum of any program. The development, preparation and publication of this work has been undertaken with great care. However, the author is not responsible for consequences that may ensue from use of materials or information contained in this work. The information contained herein is intended to assist communities, churches and individuals in establishing effective response to a controversial issue and is distributed with the understanding that it does not constitute legal advice.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior permission of the author, the copyright owner.


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