I typically think of birth control when I think about safe sex for teenage girls but lately this phrase has taken on an entirely different meaning.
Like many others, I was shocked in 2005 when I heard about the disappearance of an Alabama teen in Aruba and prayed for the safe return of Natalee Holloway. It saddens and sickens me to this day when I allow myself to think about what may have happened to her.
We may never really know what happened that tragic evening but hopefully her story will educate and caution women against making decisions that could be fatal.
No one loves a good romance more than a woman. To dream of vacationing at a tropical location, meeting a charming and handsome man, and ending the night with a romantic walk on the beach. With waves crashing at your feet, a cool breeze blowing against your skin, and the way your heart beats almost through your chest with each passionate kiss in the moonlight. Even if there is no intention of moving farther than the kisses, this woman may suddenly find herself in an unsafe sexual situation.
When I first heard the story of Natalee Holloway, it was not unlike many situations that many friends or I had experienced. For the first time, I became very aware of the real dangers that so many other girls had exposed themselves to. When I think back to situations when my own decisions were poor, I know that I am lucky that bad things didn’t happen to me. Lucky, that is really the only reason.
When I became a parent, things changed for me. I was very careful with my precious gift. I no longer took risks. I paid closer attention to my driving. I became more aware of people around me when I was out. I did not go places or do things that could put my child in danger. When I was young, I was carefree. I was more concerned about having fun than necessarily being safe. If only girls could understand the importance of protecting themselves, like they would a child.
I do not have daughters but if I did, I think I would challenge them to always ask themselves if they would continue their actions if they had a baby with them.