Thursday, November 1, 2007

CNN story blows a chance to educate people on the real sex offenders — the ones at home

CNN ran a story about various communities locking down, rounding up, or otherwise montoring registered offenders during Halloween.

What’s wrong with this story (other than, potentially, any civil liberties issues)?

The “dog that didn’t bark,” that’s all.

Everybody inflates “stranger danger” way out of proportion, and society still refuses to talk about incestuous parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even older siblings.

The “perv” is FAR more likely to be dad or stepdad, or even occasionally mom, at home, than it is some stereotyped lurer of young children.

And, local law enforcement officials, like the ones in this story, who feed public sensationalism when they should know better, are part of the problem. So are state officials, like the Texas Legislature this year when it severely increased child abuser penalties on the unspoken, unwarranted assumption that it would deter abuse because abuse results from “stranger danger.”

Bottom line: In an America where American exceptionalism is assumed if not spoken, most Americans don’t want to face the ugly realty that child sexual abuse begins at home.