I am a female, 34 years old, and married. I love God more than anything in this world, and have a ministry with the little girls of a poor community. I am sharing this so that the same mistakes my parents made will not be repeated.
My parents often left me at my grandfather's house while they were running errands. My grandfather abused me from the time I was four until I was nine years old. I wasn't the only one--all of my female cousins went through the same thing. We used to hide from him in the closet or under the beds. It never worked.
The only reason the abuse stopped was because my parents got a divorce, and I stopped going to my grandfather's house. I never felt like I could say something because he was my grandfather, and everyone told me as a child that I always had to respect and obey him. He always told me that I had to keep what happened a secret, and that was an order. So, I did.
I never told anyone.
Later on, I was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. I was so anxious in the presence of a man that I would automatically vomit. I didn't want to be alone with a man ever again; it was a very complicated thought process, but bulimia helped me with that. Nobody wants to be with a girl who looked like me when I was bulimic.
Never leave your children alone with anyone! Not even with people you may think are trustworthy. Not even with family. Talk with them! Talk about sexual abuse, talk about which parts of their bodies no one should touch, and tell them to talk with you if something happens or is bothering them. Listen to your kids, and watch them. Don't trust anyone. Most of the sexual abuse that occurs to children happens in the closest circles of trust.