Promises to Our Daughters- Sexual Assault Prevention Starts With Messages Mothers Give To Their Daughters

Messages mothers give to their daughters about their bodies reverberate throughout their daughters’ lives and have major consequences for their safety now and later. By that, I mean mothers signal to their daughters what is expected of them through everyday interactions.

Mothers are the initial guardians of their daughter’s bodies first in utero and then later in life. So the messages mothers give daughters are foundational. They start with what mothers say to their daughters and mom’s attitude conveyed through nonverbal cues.

Many daughters in the role of Good daughter are specially programmed to put others’ comfort before themselves. When they have daughters they may struggle with what to say to their own daughters.

It may come down to mom’s willingness to be socially uncomfortable. Women are heavily socialized to smooth things over rather than rock the boat- an unconscious attitude we don’t even fully know we carry.

 

 

 

Here are some questions we need to ask ourselves. 

  1. -Do daughters owe others a hug to show their gratitude- even when they don’t feel like it?
  2. -Should daughters smile to make another person happy and override their own feelings?
  3. -Should a daughter “get over” feeling uncomfortable with a certain relative or family friend?

 

*Daughters encode these messages early on and are either strengthened by them or left vulnerable. (Be easy on yourself -through this discovery process. Most of us have no idea we are carrying potentially dangerous attitudes at the unconscious level.)


 

Many daughters in the role of  Good daughter are specially programmed to put others comfort before themselves.

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Many daughters in the role of Good daughter are specially programmed to put others comfort before herself. Click To Tweet Messages mothers give to their daughters about their bodies reverberate throughout their daughters' lives and have major consequences for their safety now and later. Click To Tweet The bottom line many times is mom's willingness to be socially uncomfortable instead of expecting her daughter to make her comfortable. Click To Tweet Mothers are the initial guardians of their daughter's bodies first in utero and then later in life. What they signal to their daughters matters! Click To Tweet

 

Let’s turn this around and make the following promises to our daughters. Who’s with me?

 

What messages did your mother give you?

Let me know in the comments.

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