Let me talk about child molestation and children's museums. Why? Because I want to and I feel I need to talk about it.
There is a current article in our local paper about the new Children's Museum. The headline for the article reads "Lone adults not always welcome -SLO Children’s Museum bars entry to anyone not accompanying a child or on a tour, while other facilities in the area are more lenient". SLO Tribune - Jan 11, 2009
ZZZZT, what a grabber title that is, huh? Interestingly enough, that is exactly what the article is about... usually we get this flashy, hot-issue, bold title only to find out the story is a piece of fluff. But this article really is about a children's museum that is excluding lone adults under the pretense that they would rather be 'erring toward caution' when it comes to their establishment and that they are creating a safe haven for all those little ones that come in with mommy or daddy or grandpa.
Look, i've raised two children. I think child molestation sucks and is a sickness and I would probably have tried to kill any adult that would have tried to molest either of my children... but some things just go to damn far.
If the museum is really erring on the side of caution, and not just catering to 'the fear factor', they better stop letting in parents with children, grandparents and uncles with children, babysitters and neighbors with children and any adult that may know the child, including school teachers, priests and police.
Because if they did their homework they would know that out of all the child molestation cases, **60% of them are done by family members and acquaintances.
If you are going to open a CHILDRENS museum, then there should also be enough staff to properly care for it and its patrons, with enough security so that the museum wouldnt have to settle on the use of an archaic, preemptive reasoning that infers that a lone adult constitutes a potential child molester.
I am all for being informed and cautious and safe. I am very much against instituting fear where there is no need for fear. I am very much against the insinuation that a lone man or woman is, by default, a sexual predator, until they can prove otherwise.
**strangers are the offenders in approx 10% of child sexual abuse cases. Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approx 30% are relatives of the child, most often fathers, uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances/neighbors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse
2 years ago