It’s been said that knowledge is power. If that is the case, then every parent of a young girl should take a moment to read a probable cause statement regarding an alleged rape in Jackson County. The information contained in those one- to two-page documents is an Arctic-cold reminder that we need to be vigilant in training our young women how to be safe and, just as importantly, how to protect themselves.

It’s been said that knowledge is power. If that is the case, then every parent of a young girl should take a moment to read a probable cause statement regarding an alleged rape in Jackson County. The information contained in those one- to two-page documents is an Arctic-cold reminder that we need to be vigilant in training our young women how to be safe and, just as importantly, how to protect themselves.

Yours truly never realized the depths of evil creeping through our neighborhoods until, in a moment of curiosity, I read one of the near daily press notices/probable cause statements issued by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. The defendant listed in the notice had been accused of a rape.

Without getting too deep into the allegations, the story went something like this: A young teenage girl was at home alone when a supposed family friend came over. Hormones on both sides kicked in and some grown-up touching and body positioning occurred. The touching elevated to full sexual contact; the allegation was it was unwanted by the girl (which didn’t matter because the child was under age).

At the end of the probable cause statement, the alleged perpetrator mentioned that he knew the child was under age but he went along with the sexual contact anyway.

You just read the PG-rated version of the event. The probable cause statement was very detailed. As a parent, your heart would have dropped as you pictured some young girl essentially stuck in a bad situation as a grown man took an intimate part of her that can never be replaced or repaired.

For yours truly, I thought about how I would feel if the World’s Greatest Child, now age 9, was the person who opened that door. What if she made the horrendous mistake of allowing anyone, let alone some supposedly grown man, into our home without an adult on site? When if she got way too comfortable and stupid while giving away control of the situation?

What if my daughter, that tiny little life I brought into the world one rainy September day, was raped as a result? The thought is enough to make a grown man cry.

The great thing is that a man can cry now at the thought but can quickly take action to ensure such a horror never occurs. As parents of young girls, we have an awesome opportunity to protect our young women right now.

Take time now to relentlessly drill lessons about responsible behavior into the minds of our little girls. Be honest and let them know the price for making certain mistakes, like allowing a grown man into your home when you’re alone. Love your child, and place them in situations that are safe. Most importantly, pray a lot.

Then, hopefully, your child won’t be the focus of a horrible story in a probable cause report.