Time and time again we hear of a child being sexually molested by a neighbor or the leader of an organization and, in this era of fatherless homes, the mother’s boyfriend!  Be careful who you allow your children to spend time with sometimes it’s someone close to home.  Sometimes it’s someone you would never suspect. In the middle of the night, I awoke to the rise and fall of muffled laughter.  Lying there, I listened to the familiar Saturday sounds of a chair, as the four legs were drug across the linoleum floor, someone making their way back up to the kitchen table, regaining their position in the game, popping open a fresh can of beer.  I heard the consistent rhythm of a lighter opening then snapping shut as a new cigarette was lit, forming more clouds of smoke, filling the air, drifting into the room where I slept.  I was half in and half out of sleep, roused every now and then by the deck of cards as they were shuffled.  When the party ended I fell into a deep sleep. Later, the silence was broken and I was awakened again by the creak of the bedroom door slowly being pushed open.  In my groggy, sleepy state I saw a shadowy figure of a man appear in the door way.  It wasn’t my father; the silhouette of the person was much taller.  There was not enough moonlight to see any more than that.  Who was it and what did they want?  I felt the bed move as someone pulled back the blanket and crawled in with me.  Lying on my side facing away from the mysterious intruder, I pretended to be asleep.  I was confused and scared. Suddenly, someone’s hand crept around my waist, and slowly made its way up my shirt my heart pounded, my body was rigid.  I thought if I kept perfectly still, it would soon stop.  The hand glided down my stomach past my navel to the top of my underpants.   I still pretended to be asleep, my mind was racing presenting me with different options of escape, but in my eleven-year-old mind none seemed practical.  The hand began to gently pull me over onto my back.  I recognized the smell of hot, putrid alcohol breath tinged with cigarette smoke getting closer, and closer to my face.   I still pretended to be asleep.   The night was warm and humid and the feel of his sweaty, clammy skin sickened me.  Then all of a sudden it all stopped!  I kept very still for fear movement would cause whoever was doing this, to resume the disgusting thing he did to me.  The person rolled away and with it went the hand.  It seemed like forever, but after awhile I heard a deep, smelly exhale and the welcome sound of snoring. Hours went by, it was the longest night.  Finally, as the morning light came into the room I carefully, quietly slid from under the blanket and inched my way from the bed.  The door was open just enough for me to slip through sideways, if I made myself as skinny as I could.  If the door moved, it may creak and wake the stranger.  As I left the room, I looked back at the face barely visible in the morning light.  It was my mother’s older brother, and up until then my favorite “Uncle Paul”. To determine if a child is being sexually molested know the signs visit:  www.community.nsw.gov.nu