OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy



Tuesday, December 12, 2006 :::
 

"Predator Panic"

Virginia's Bob McDonnell, among others, has been leading a high-profile charge against sexual predators. While there can be no doubt that preventing such crimes and punishing offenders is a genuine concern, are we truly in the grip of a sexual predator epidemic?

Writing in Skeptical Inquiry, Benjamin Radford says no. And the real problem is not so much what kids run into online, as what they must confront in their own homes, from their own families:

The tragic irony is that the panic over sex offenders distracts the public from the real danger, a far greater threat to children than sexual predators: parental abuse and neglect. The vast majority of crimes against children are committed not by released sex offenders but instead by the victim’s own family, church clergy, and family friends. According to a 2003 report by the Department of Human Services, hundreds of thousands of children are abused and neglected each year by their parents and caregivers, and more than 1,500 American children died from that abuse in 2003—most of the victims under four years old. That is more than four children killed per day—not by convicted sexual offenders or Internet predators, but by those entrusted to care for them. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “danger to children is greater from someone they or their family knows than from a stranger.”

It's a contrarian take, to be sure. But it's one worth considering.



::: posted by Norman Leahy at 12/12/2006 2 comments





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