the enabling aspect of the current public attitude towards the abuse of children.

this is a personal bugbear of mine for reasons i won't go into.
(it does however fit into my common "but...that's not reality" bent)

current public and public policy and media attitudes towards towards childhood sexual, physical, and psychological abuse take they view that the primary danger source is external to the family when the truth is we know that the vast huge majority of such abuse takes place within the family circle.

in the UK for example much has been made of the media sensationalised "bogeymen paedophiles" who supposedly hang around school gates just waiting to snatch a child and make off with them like some horrific RL version the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...

the societal response to this is the near obsessive picking up by car at the school gates of almost every child by a family member or "close family friend" and ensuring that they remain accompanied by an adult until they can be delivered to the supposed loving buxom of their family.

i have deep seated anxiety about that state of affairs not least because the real life abusers of children must frankly fucking love this new reality we have supposedly created to dis-enable them...

a few decades ago abused children of all types often meandered home from school in a effort to avoid their abusers...but now...now we simply must be statistically placing them straight into the arms of those they would most wish to avoid.

the "bogeymen paedophiles" are not the real problem.

its "mum" or "dad" or "uncle bob" or "step brother" by a massively huge margin to the point such people represent almost all.

and we are directly enabling them through our actions.

the question is what can we actually do about it and how can we even begin to address this truth through public policy ?

As ignominious as such abuse is, I'm not sure a law enforcement approach will yield actual improvements in the wellbeing of children. Trading abuse for massive disruptions in the life of a child is not a straightforward comparison. Intervening in the affairs of families, by its nature, has costs. We could do quite a number of things about this state of affairs, but it might not necessarily be worth it.

That's a problem, but "the stranger hiding in the bushes" idea is common for popular ideas of sex crimes. It's simple, easy, and not too frightening, so it doesn't go away.

Presuming everybody is guilty of a crime as a method to avoid said crime doesn't really sit too well with me.

No no no, I really disagree. By ensuring a child must be picked up by a legal guardian we are not enabling that guardian to abuse them we are preventing someone else to pick them up and abuse them. Statistically speaking I would guess your right most abuse does happen by family members however doesn't that mean there would be worse instances of abuse by letting an unknown individual get close to children. There is no less sense of urgency if a child is being abused by a father or stranger however those warning signs are less obvious with family.

We may not blame family members first but we are not enabling them for doing unspeakable things to children. I disagree with that statement the most. If you where to say we tend not to believes stories of abusive biological parents I would get closer to agreeing with you but you phrase it like stopping a car that circles a school too much is enabling a parent to abuse their child. No matter your personal situation that is not the case a person who "likes watching children" is more likely to be a predator than a parent of a child a that school, statistically speaking. And no I have no evidence to back that up I do however have common sense.

I would say if we wanted to improve prevention of abuse by parents we should just educate educators on how best to spot the differences in abused and non-abused children. Not by loosening restriction on non parents. There might be a law enforcement method beyond normal child service protocol(in the US) to solve this problem but I don't know what it is.

"and we are directly enabling them through our actions."

Just so we're clear that quoted text is what I have a problem with.

thaluikhain:
That's a problem, but "the stranger hiding in the bushes" idea is common for popular ideas of sex crimes. It's simple, easy, and not too frightening, so it doesn't go away.

I don't think by evoking the "stranger hiding in the bushes" myth we exacerbate an existing problem. It doesn't even prolong the problem, it just doesn't address it. You have to think who cares most about the well being of a child except there family? And if not their family a teacher or friend's parents. But to be clear what these people care about is not who the most likely abuser is, it is the child's well being.

dmase:

thaluikhain:
That's a problem, but "the stranger hiding in the bushes" idea is common for popular ideas of sex crimes. It's simple, easy, and not too frightening, so it doesn't go away.

I don't think by evoking the "stranger hiding in the bushes" myth we exacerbate an existing problem. It doesn't even prolong the problem, it just doesn't address it.

When it's evoked to the exclusion of all else, to the extent people don't understand rape doesn't have to be like that, then it is a problem.

thaluikhain:

dmase:

thaluikhain:
That's a problem, but "the stranger hiding in the bushes" idea is common for popular ideas of sex crimes. It's simple, easy, and not too frightening, so it doesn't go away.

I don't think by evoking the "stranger hiding in the bushes" myth we exacerbate an existing problem. It doesn't even prolong the problem, it just doesn't address it.

When it's evoked to the exclusion of all else, to the extent people don't understand rape doesn't have to be like that, then it is a problem.

Oh, and how often is it blamed on the homeless man down the street over uncle joe? Not enough that it warrants a change in a school's policies to so called strangers. A kid's well being is a kid's well being not a public's perception of whom a criminal may be.

dmase:

thaluikhain:

dmase:

I don't think by evoking the "stranger hiding in the bushes" myth we exacerbate an existing problem. It doesn't even prolong the problem, it just doesn't address it.

When it's evoked to the exclusion of all else, to the extent people don't understand rape doesn't have to be like that, then it is a problem.

Oh, and how often is it blamed on the homeless man down the street over uncle joe?

Not blamed on, but often not recognised as abuse either.

thaluikhain:

dmase:

thaluikhain:

When it's evoked to the exclusion of all else, to the extent people don't understand rape doesn't have to be like that, then it is a problem.

Oh, and how often is it blamed on the homeless man down the street over uncle joe?

Not blamed on, but often not recognised as abuse either.

I think that statement is wrong, abuser should be the correct word. The way that makes your statement different is that a person knows a child is being abused no matter who does the abusing. The question is who gets blamed.

I'm of the mind that if we didn't collect "creepers" or "predators" in that dragnet before an abuse occurs they would be the most likely assailants of the child. However since we do like to prevent these people uncle joe is the one most likely causing the abuse. While there might be some method of catching uncle joe it's not provided anywhere in this thread thus far and I don't see how "the stranger in the bushes myth" perpetuates child abuse. If a person see's the signs of abuse they don't ignore it(I would hope) and a culprit would need to be found. So does automatically stopping the most likely candidate(as the OP suggest) prevent the apprehension of Joe?

So once again my position further educate individuals on the signs of abuse so they can find the minors being abused because after that it doesn't matter who the criminal is they will face the law or at least the child will be protected.

Damien Granz:
Presuming everybody is guilty of a crime as a method to avoid said crime doesn't really sit too well with me.

Same. Even if statistically most child abuse happens within families, doesn't mean we should feel justified to assume that every father and uncle is a potential abuser. Similar logic gets used to support the "Schrodinger's Rapist" viewpoint, which I find hopelessly cynical at best (and fucking sickening at worst, if anybody was wondering).

I personally believe that society is still in denial of the true extent of child abuse. A few decades ago it was denied that abuse happened within "good families" in any significant amount, nowadays statistics have proved that wrong but even so people avoid the problem by designating abusers as somehow "inhuman", "predators", "monsters" etc because it's easier to believe they are some dark other driven by pure evil rather than friendly Dave down the road who organises the children's events at the local church. My particular bug-bear is with the term "child predator" since it creates a mental image which is pretty much opposite of how abusers tend to act in public and so helps them sidestep any suspicions.

That said, we shouldn't be overly paranoid either. Precautions should be thoroughly considered to make sure they actually do help avoid abuse and not simply create a false sense of security.

Examples of good precautions for schools or organisations:

-Trying to avoid situations where an adult is alone with a child when possible (less opportunities for one-on-one abuse)
-CRB checking regular volunteers or employees (should instantly net any abuser with a prior conviction)

Examples of bad precautions for schools or organisations:

-Banning adults from hugging or any affectionate contact with children, even in public (does nothing except reduce the risk of someone "getting the wrong idea"... which is only a problem if people think there's something odd about an adult showing affection for an unrelated child in the first place).
-Banning parents from photographing their children at sports days or school plays (prevents other parents getting photos of your child... except they could easily take those photos in a public place if they really wanted to, or use one of the billions of images of children online).

OK, I'm going to address this more in depth now that I have the time.

Sleekit:
this is a personal bugbear of mine for reasons i won't go into.
(it does however fit into my common "but...that's not reality" bent)

current public and public policy and media attitudes towards towards childhood sexual, physical, and psychological abuse take they view that the primary danger source is external to the family when the truth is we know that the vast huge majority of such abuse takes place within the family circle.

in the UK for example much has been made of the media sensationalised "bogeymen paedophiles" who supposedly hang around school gates just waiting to snatch a child and make off with them like some horrific RL version the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...

This is a good argument for people chilling the fuck out, but not necessarily a good argument against the idea that parents should pick their kids up after school.

I see a similar thing involving the holiday of Halloween. People act like their kids are in constant mortal danger so that a fun holiday has been ruined because public perception of crime has gone up while actual crime rates have gone down. Their children are safer, and yet they treat them like they are in constant danger, which serves to do nothing but make them neurotic and fearful.

That said..

Sleekit:
the societal response to this is the near obsessive picking up by car at the school gates of almost every child by a family member or "close family friend" and ensuring that they remain accompanied by an adult until they can be delivered to the supposed loving buxom of their family.

i have deep seated anxiety about that state of affairs not least because the real life abusers of children must frankly fucking love this new reality we have supposedly created to dis-enable them...

a few decades ago abused children of all types often meandered home from school in a effort to avoid their abusers...but now...now we simply must be statistically placing them straight into the arms of those they would most wish to avoid.

You're making the incorrect correlation that because the person most likely to harm you is somebody that you know, that people whom you know are the most likely to harm you. Just because statistically if I was to be harmed the culprit is most likely my boyfriend doesn't mean my boyfriend is statistically the most dangerous man on Earth.

Most people, frankly, are safer with their families than not. For some few unfortunate individuals in either broken families or families with a member with a problem the opposite is true, and that's sad, but the idea that people, especially small children under the age of 16 are better off without their families, or at least better off avoiding them for the maybe half an hour it might take to walk home, is a fallacy.

You're making what's known as the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy (named after the idea of a guy unloading bullets at random into the side of a barn, then drawing a circle around the largest concentration of bullet holes, and claiming he's a sharpshooter for hitting the target the most).

Making sure that strangers don't pick up your kids doesn't make it easier for your kid to be abused by you, because you're already there at the house, and a lot of abused kids, especially those physically abused or beaten don't dawdle on their way home because them being late just means they're getting the switch or whatever.

Again, making sure that a school bus takes your kid home, or that a parent picks them up and they don't just walk off into a random direction in the woods doesn't enable child abuse, unless you believe that 'most abused children are abused in homes' means 'most children are abused in homes' and they're not the same thing.

Sleekit:
the "bogeymen paedophiles" are not the real problem.

its "mum" or "dad" or "uncle bob" or "step brother" by a massively huge margin to the point such people represent almost all.

and we are directly enabling them through our actions.

the question is what can we actually do about it and how can we even begin to address this truth through public policy ?

Public policy can be helped by not acting like the world's on goddamn fire, first of all, because paranoia serves nobody. Second, policy shouldn't be directed towards making sure that children don't go home for fear that their family are going to prey on them, but making sure that children understand signs of abuse and have a safe environment for them to disclose said things to authorities.

If children that are abused in home go unhelped it's not because every parent abuses their kid or their kid avoided strangers too much, it's because that they're unequipped to even recognize that they're being abused in the first place. Yes, YOU, as an adult could know that some guy touching your junk without your permission is bad, but a child doesn't necessarily know why it's a crime, just that it makes them feel terrible.

Really, this is a problem that can't be solved by 'making sure everybody is treated like a criminal ahead of time', and more by children having access to safe learning environments and being taught what abuse is and why so they have a combination of the knowledge they've been hurt and the resources to seek help for it without fear of retribution.

I just thought of another thing that bothers me and why I hate paranoia: If a loving parent gets yelled at by somebody for hugging his own kid, kids grow up paranoid that every adult is terrible and is also further less likely to report when they have been hurt: They have to realize that whomever hurt them is rare and that all the other adults around them are healthy. If they feel that everybody is the same and terrible, they won't bother telling anybody because if say, somebody's mother sexually abuses them and keeps them quiet because of violence or threats thereof, they'll feel that another terrible adult will just tell on them.

Damien Granz:

Sleekit:
the societal response to this is the near obsessive picking up by car at the school gates of almost every child by a family member or "close family friend" and ensuring that they remain accompanied by an adult until they can be delivered to the supposed loving buxom of their family.

i have deep seated anxiety about that state of affairs not least because the real life abusers of children must frankly fucking love this new reality we have supposedly created to dis-enable them...

a few decades ago abused children of all types often meandered home from school in a effort to avoid their abusers...but now...now we simply must be statistically placing them straight into the arms of those they would most wish to avoid.

You're making the incorrect correlation that because the person most likely to harm you is somebody that you know, that people whom you know are the most likely to harm you. Just because statistically if I was to be harmed the culprit is most likely my boyfriend doesn't mean my boyfriend is statistically the most dangerous man on Earth.

Most people, frankly, are safer with their families than not. For some few unfortunate individuals in either broken families or families with a member with a problem the opposite is true, and that's sad, but the idea that people, especially small children under the age of 16 are better off without their families, or at least better off avoiding them for the maybe half an hour it might take to walk home, is a fallacy.

Kids under 16 are all "small children"? There's an enormous difference between a 15 year old and an 11 year old, and an enormous difference between a 7 year old and an 11 year old. And I don't think Sleekit was saying they're all better off without their families (I don't know where everyone's seeing this in the post, because I'm not seeing it at all), I think Sleekit is saying that this paranoia that results in parents hovering over their kids in fear of imaginary predators is unrealistic, ridiculous, and stops some abused kids from otherwise having an out. Yeah, a lot of abused kids *did* dawdle on the way home, actually-- if you're late you get the switch isn't a lot of abused kids' (especially emotionally and sexually abused kids') reality. That you could stop at the library for a while or an arcade or a soda shop or just take that long loop through the woods and be with your friends or peacefully by yourself and avoid your house for a little while longer was a big part of a lot of kids' coping strategies when I was a kid, whether you were avoiding an abusive parent, a drunk one, or a simply dysfunctional one.

It's not that picking up your kids is inherently bad, it's that this idea that your kids cannot, under any circumstances, be permitted to walk home-- even if their school is .8 miles away-- is ridiculous. Kids had all kinds of freedoms when I was a kid that would be unthinkable today. I walked home alone starting in middle school. I got to walk with my friend on his paper route starting in 8th grade, as long as I was home by dinner. Summertime, we could go just about anywhere we wanted during the day and we were trusted to do that, starting-- oh, 6th grade? I was actually allowed to take a Greyhound bus to the nearest city (50 min away), then take a taxi, and go to the mall by myself once a year starting the summer between 9th and 10th grade. My parents would meet me after work and take me to dinner. Parents wanted to know who you were with if you were with friends, but past that, it just wasn't a thing. I grew up in a small town, my husband in a city, but it was the same for him growing up, and pretty much anyone else I know over 40 with whom I've ever had a conversation about this kind of thing.

Then this whole "stranger danger" paranoia started and now kids seem like they're constantly supervised-- which I'm sure does prevent a very small amount of incidents, but yeah, I think it does create a lot more problems than it solves. I have yet to see any proof that this bubble-wrapping kids' lives helps them. (And I've heard a lot of anecdata, especially from employers and professors, that it hurts them by making them less able to cope with being on their own.) I'm not seeing Sleekit say we should be more paranoid, I'm reading him as saying we should loosen up as a society on kids being constantly monitored, and face the damn reality that most abuse (and most rape, although that wasn't in the OP) is caused by someone the victim knows. That doesn't mean "distrust all people", that means stop promoting this "predator in the bushes" fallacy and thinking that solves the problem of child abuse. I'm also reading him saying that abused kids need an opportunity to not be in the house, and I agree wholeheartedly. More after-school programs or community center programs for kids would help, maybe? I don't know. I hear a lot of people say "yeah, I could do all kinds of things when I was a kid, but it was a different world then", and I'm just not sure I see what the difference is supposed to be-- especially if what they're saying is that it's a more dangerous world now, crime-wise, than the '70s and '80s, because that's definitely not true.

So, I work at a museum that's main source of funding is bringing through school tour groups (in fact today I believe I have quite a few to go through) and our policy is that we are never ever ever ever ever allowed to touch a child except in the most extreme circumstance. "Life and Limb" is the unofficial policy name, which states that unless a child is in danger of losing their life or suffering serious injury, we can't touch. If a child is injured 'on site', we are authorized to offer the teacher/parent of the child use of the medical kit, but we can't assist in any way other then that. If it's a severe injury, our job is to call security and make sure 911 is called, basically we're supposed to organize the situation.

This is largely to prevent litigation rather then to protect the child. <- I really want to emphasize this point.

Anecdotal: We have a carpenter who volunteers regularly with us, an older gentleman. He's brilliant at what he does (he's also a docent), and was giving a carpentry demonstration one day when a child began to get to close for safety.

Twice, he asked in a clear loud voice for the child to step back. HIs specific words were "Son, please step back, you might get hurt."

After the second time, he reached over and firmly set his hand on the boys shoulder and applied gentle pressure and said "Son, you have to step back, you might get hurt". This was in front of a group of people, by the way.

The boy didn't panic, but his mother went off the handle that he had touched her son in any manner. It started to get serious but later we found out that the woman had a history of suing for exactly this reason, and that her son suffered from aspergers syndrome. No litigation came of it but the policy is now firmly cemented.

http://www.wbaltv.com/news/maryland/southern-maryland/Md-county-restricts-hugging-bringing-treats-to-schools/-/15158892/19392542/-/cfj2haz/-/index.html <- This is the county I live in and grew up in, and since we get so many teachers through, many of them female, there's some gossip I hear.

I think the most depressing one was that there was a male teacher one of the other female teachers knew who was well beloved by his students, and occasionally you'd have a child run up and give his leg a hug because 'yay it's my favorite teacher and hugging shows affection', and whenever it happens he immediately puts his hands into the air like he's surrendering.

Again, this is all anecdotal, but it does sort of highlight the culture.

I feel like even admitting I find kids and their ways refreshing and cute is dangerous. Kids ARE cute. They see the world in an amazing manner and they do things that most adults wouldn't think of. Innocence is nice and refreshing when you spend your time around cynics and are cynical yourself. Even if your sexuality goes in the other direction, as is my case, just saying kids are cute, like you know, kids are supposed to be, there's this miasma.

it's seems some dwell on the use of my language.
i will freely admit my writing and turn of phase is perhaps a bit wonky at times.
i would ask you perhaps read between the lines and focus more on the underlying point.

dmase, for example takes issue with "and we are directly enabling them through our actions."
perhaps if i had written "and we are exacerbating the problem through our, albeit well intentioned, actions." ?

the main thrust of my point is that we are not addressing the problem where we know it exists in greatest abundance and are instead probably making things worse.

now i could write that sentence a dozen ways and i'm sure someone could or may take issues with the semantics of the language but regardless of every rewrite the underlying point behind the words still stands.

i don't have an answer (although sadly i have plenty of "insight").
that's why the OP is ultimately a question rather than any kind of proposal.

personally i think that the "sanctity" of family and parenthood is played with far to heavily in political arena and an assumption is made, and near constantly reinforced, in a lot of public policy areas, that anyone who can become a parent to a child is somehow gifted with a whole load of innate positive attributes simply because they have managed commit the act of breeding (i also think this is an underlying partial cause behind the "teenage pregnancy" problem because imo some young girls see having a child as near instantaneous gateway to a certain adult "respect" or "reverence".)

i think it would perhaps be a start to place less emphasis on the supposed "sanctity" of the family in the political arena, especially given the fact something like 40% of people in society now live alone as adults.

families are not "holier-than-thou" and really if we are to deal with problems like the one under discussion (and other like for example the best way to eduction children) we need to move away from the idea that pairing up and managing to breed somehow turns those involved into near constantly politically pronounced "whiter than white" sages and paragons of society.

i don't think that's a solution to the problem discussed in the OP but i do feel that such a change would perhaps enable the light of truth to be more readily shone upon those who are actually responsible for the vast majority of child abuse.

i would like firmly say i am not "down on families".

without the support of some family members i dread to think what the outcome may have been in some of the cases i am personally privy to but that said, on the other side of the coin, the abusers played the "whiter than white" card as hard as they were fucking able, had their own support from some family members too, and if anything garnered more support from society around them and its structures and attitudes than their "accusers" were able to.

most people i know only managed to leave the situation behind without being able to take any form of recourse beyond that.

and even that act of leaving is not as societally easy as it may glibly sound.

this means the abusers still "walk free" largely untainted and able to "reoffend" and the victims ?...imo the victims often persist in a state riven with a unaddressed "baggage" due a lack of any kind of "justice" or "closure"...

there are some people, in fact in my experience the majority of the people, who seem to innately think preserving the status duo of an existing family unit and situation, overrides pretty much anything...

anyway i'm going to stop now before i start "spilling the beans" and getting way too anecdotal.

i don't have an answer.

i am not even sure of myself when putting these "concerns" into words.

like i said before i could attempt to say something a dozen different ways and some might sound better than others.

i would appreciate if you afford me some leeway.

this is not an easy subject for me to broach.

and now a cheery poem...

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

not sure if i agree with the last line...but still...

I think you're to close to the problem and it's causing you to have a loaded perception when you ask the question.

In your case, forgive me for the extrapolation, the system failed. However, you need to really bring forth evidence that the failure of the system is ENDEMIC.

Also, we need to know what your country is that the failure took place in. The little interaction I've had with the family security people here in the US paints them as being an active and zealous bunch, but again, that's also a state by state and even region by region thing.

I think Sleekits touching on a social phenomena which i expect will be studied by social historians of the early 21st century.

I think behind the media's hysterical witch-hunt of pedophiles are general social anxieties of about the sexualisation of children. On the one hand you've got this long running societal trend of increased sexual freedoms, whereby we can have pre-martial and interacial sex without any social stigma, and increasingly now homosexual sex. On top of this, the clothes we wear have become more sexualised, there's more sexual imagery in advertising and in media in general. There's no doubt we've become more sexually free as a society over the past half century.

And on the other hand, you've also got this traditional reverence for the innocence of childhood. Children should be sheltered and protected from the more dangerous and unsuitable elements of adult life. It's why we encourage children to believe in the tooth fairy, farther Christmas, and why we have legally enforced age ratings on films and video games, and don't allow them to play outside unsupervised. Obviously, there are perfectly rational reasons to do this (which sensible adult will allow a six year old to watch a SAW movie?) and i think as humans we're hardwired to be protective of children.

But children are also hardwired to copy adults, which poses a problem because, like adults, they're still going to come into contact with sexual imagery and ideas. How many children have seen adverts depicting scantly clad women, or seen pop-up porn adverts whilst browsing the internet unsupervised? It's very difficult to police the now more sexualised adult world from the world of childhood.

Pedophile hysteria may be a result of societies anxieties about protecting children from an increasingly sexualsed world. A way to deal with this anxiety is to externalise the perpetrators towards a few shady, deviant individuals who we imagine to commit most offenses. This is to avoid the blame being put on parents, because the majority of people are parents themselves. It's a defense mechanism, and it also simplifies what is a complicated and difficult problem.

A similar process may occur with how we imagine rape. It's popularly imagined that rape is committed by violent strangers in dark alleys who pray on innocent women. When really, rape and sexual abuse in general occurs within families and circles of "friends" in a far more manipulative and subtle manner, rather like child abuse. But the image of a creepy man hiding down a dark ally ambushing helpless women or the image of a similar man stalking children from the schoolgates resonates more with our subconscious minds, and hence that's how the media report it. It's all about pandering to their readers bias because that's what's what sells papers.

I may have gone a bit overly psychological there, but there's my two cents.

Think i might also share this as well:

Sleekit:
-snip-

I agree that abuse from family members is something that isn't addressed as much as it should be when it comes to sexual abuse, however I think that the school pickup thing is perfectly reasonable. Because first of all, who else do you want to be picking them up, exactly? And secondly, how is requiring a family member or guardian-approved friend to pick them up enabling abuse? Or how would loosening the rules do more to prevent it? I don't see any relevance, there. When abuse of that sort happens, it tends to be at home I think.

And trust me, having strict rules on who can pick up the kids is a good idea, given the horror stories my mom has told me. She works as a secretary at an elementary school, and she's seen drug-addled ex-boyfriends/girlfriends and estranged relatives try to pick kids up, and she is proud to tell them no and to bugger off until they get guardian approval. Especially when she speaks with their real guardian later and they say "Oh no, we don't ever want them picking him/her up," as is what frequently happens in those situations. People are petty and cruel enough to use children basically as hostages in order to get the attention of their ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. Because that is quite an effective way to end a silent treatment--pick the kid up from school so they have to confront the person to get the kid back.

As for why stranger rape is more emphasized than familial rape, I think it's partially because stranger rape is a scarier bogeyman that is easier to give instructions as to how to address. "Don't talk to/get rides from/interact with/go into dark places with strangers." And that's it, basically. But if it's mom or dad that is abusing you, then none of those techniques are very applicable.

And I think the other part of it is shame. People don't want to admit that there are situations in which the parents are not trustworthy, especially parents themselves. They don't want their kids to be told you can't always trust mom or dad. They don't want their kids to be under the impression they could potentially be hurt by mom and dad. They don't like the idea of their trustworthiness as a parent being taken into question.

I think the most amicable solution would be to not only teach kids how to avoid stranger rape, but also how to communicate to adults about such abuse--and at some point in that process just outright say the person who hurts you may be a family member, and if that's the case it is just as important to report them as if they were a stranger.

Captcha: Sorry Dave. Holy shit on a stick, I am unplugging this computer, NOW.

if reference to your 1st paragraph (only really) its about the amount of time spend in company of those adults most likely to be abusers.

now i know that's not an easy subject to approach but the basic jist is, that in an effort to lessen abuse, we are, in fact, creating a situation where children will actually be spending more time in company of those who most likely to be child abusers.

the supposedly pressing need for children to have constant adult supervision is a new thing, and indeed that has been mentioned by others in the thread.

it's largely borne out concern about the childs well-being (and that is admirable) BUT it is also largely driven a zeitgeist driven risk assessment that unfortunately doesn't bare the slightest resemblance to reality "on the ground".

the point i'm stumbling around trying to highlight is that "constant adult supervision" is, in all probability, having exactly the opposite effect from that which we would wish it to have. ie abused children will be spending more exposed to their abusers rather than less.

the children be picked up from school is largely just the most obvious example but it is indicative of this...for want of a better word, "panic" that people uphold about making sure children exist in a world where they spend 100% of their time in the company of adults.

like i said that is a new thing, but it's become so prevalent and omnipresent that, it seems to me at least, some people have a hard time realising just how new and different to the prior reality it actually is.

the US may be different (after all we are always hearing how reliant it is on the automobile) but, dipping into the personally anecdotal just this once, i personally i walked to school every day i was at school (from primary to high), i was also largely told when i got home (once i was big enough) to "get changed, go out and don't come back til your dinner is ready" as was practically every other kid i knew *.

that was the world i grew up in and it was only 20 odd years ago.
and it was actually, statistically, probably a much more generally dangerous place.
and isn't that parents somehow didn't care then imo its that our risk assessment has gotten waaaay, waaay out of whack.

they ONLY time i was confined to the house, the ONLY time my movements were ruthlessly monitored and i was not allowed to hang about with other kids was when we were living with an abuser...and that was actually prior to the period where i was given seemingly given "free reign".

i wasn't allowed to have friends (or talk "out of turn" to anyone, especially adults) until i was 13 and my mother got divorced.

teachers (and the like) thought i was great. i was incredibly polite and "bookish" and they loved that.
i was "polite" because i was scared shitless. i was "bookish" because books were one of the few things we were allowed and it fitted into the "little children should be seen a not heard" mantra that was brutally enforced at home...to this day, and to my shame, that particular phrase is extreamly dangerous to utter in my presence...

but i did tell them and i was ignored. i even attended school swimming lessons after one particular brutal beating and my bruises and welts were so horrific that the swimming instructress screamed and passed out when i came out the changing rooms and yet...no one did a fucking thing...y'know who got in trouble over that ? i did. they didn't mention it to my parents but they did chastise me for "making a scene"...all i did was get undressed and walk out to the pool as i was supposed to do. although to be honest it was a big "maybe now they'll see and i'll get taken away" moment for me. but no. it was my fault and my "shame" that, under my clothes, i looked like a loser of a prizefighter.

there are...maybe a just under hundred people from teachers to school helps to other children to even friends who were witnesses to the abuse i and my family suffered and yet, when my mum finally decided to get divorced, when the NSPCC was trying to put together a case, not a single corroborating witness would take the stand. they either didn't want to or were specifically told not to get involved by others both internal and external, their own family and one half of my own. various other societal agents became involved at my fathers behest including political figures and members of the church. guess which side they came down on ?..

in the end the fact my mother got a divorced was the only thing that led to anything (although an exclusion order was eventually granted) and yet still the powers that be pushed for "acccess" even though every single one of us said "no".

did i mention my brother died ? my father "falcon punched" my mother when she was pregnant and he died shortly after being born. the xmas door wreath made for us by my aunt (who i later found out was a witness to that attack) was placed on his grave every new years by my mother with us (but not my father) in attendance. the grave stone carried his name misspelt (supposedly by accident because he was drunk) by my father: "Cistopher"...

when i was a child no one mentioned why Christopher had died. i didn't know the circumstances then but i did notice the snapping between parents about it and, with a hugely violent father, this particular child was left to draw his own conclusions as to what happened...and you can probably guess what that was. that went completely over my mothers (and other relatives) head for years until we talked about it much later in life but as far as was concerned, at the time, i was in line to be next.

after my mother got divorced we found out we were actually his second family...guess why the first wife got divorced...and guess how far she got with prosecuting the man for his violence or informing society of his nature...we didn't even know he had been previously married (never mind had two other kids).

i cannot convey how all and the rest affected my later life.
to call me "an angry young man" is decidedly insufficient.
by 12 i didn't even give him the satisfaction of hearing me scream any more.
i spend virtually every waking hour when my nose wasn't in a book planning how to kill him and get out.
i compulsively ate every table scrap and even that from the dogs bowl so i would get big enough to do so faster.
i literally prayed and dreamt of the day i would become the abuser...
dw that sentence now sicken me too. but then ?...gawd no.
then a monster was creating a monster.

the stuff i see how, the 10s and 10s or cars outside primary schools hurried packing in the kids to whisk them away asap (even though the schools are in general are a pitiful distance from their homes) frankly that scares the shit out me given what i know it will mean for some of those kids.

i live in my mothers ancestral village now. my maternal family has lived here for 8 generations. it is largely...er "working class"...or less i guess tbth...the kids still largely walk to school and play in the streets and in the playing fields official and not so official.

they whizz about on their bikes and skateboards and bogies (karts) and those new fanged scooters with 2 wheels at the back and little girls push their toy prams along and play beds and skip on the pavement. the sound of the summer is usually some a old motorbike with no exhaust "having the arse screwed off it" off in the distance by the teenagers and in the winter they build snowmen and igloos and have snowball fights with anyone who's game and collect they junk for bonfire night when fireworks fly around like no ones business (and none of it "organised" for them).

all this heals my soul because this i know and love and as a child i coveted it more than anything.

i am not adverse even now to building the odd snowman and joining an impromptu snowball fight.

when i first came to view the house here my care worker (who is weegie...sry a "Glasweegian"...) was frankly amazed because, as she exclaimed, she hadn't seen the like in 20 years (though even in Glasgow that is approximately what her own childhood was like).

the village were i grew up, where i was both abused and went to to primary school is the next village along one of the roads.

for various reasons (the nature of the properties, the closing of the local shop and amenities and its proximity to easy motorway access being prime) it's now highly "middle class". it still has the primary school (which when i was there had a grand total of 2 teachers and 26 students). the village is less than a mile long strung out on road that goes over the brow of a hill...and yet even those kids are picked up by cars at the school gates and are never seen playing in the streets....

tbh the place (and that situation which i basically see replicated almost everywhere) just gives the fucking heebie-jeebies.

it didn't used to be like that.

i know because i used to longingly watch them play with tear filled eyes out the windows.

and it's not all down to playstations and xboxes and some might suggest.
we had those too...in a "gang hut" i built with my own hands...

now look what you've done :P i've gone all anecdotal and waxed lyrical which is exactly what i didn't want to do.

very sorry.

please intelligently ignore most of my anecdotal ramblings.

it's hard for me to put all my thoughts about this situation into precise words but if i am forced to try i guess it partly comes down to "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" (surprised myself there. that is actually quite apt...) and that, imo, we are losing more than we are gaining with this new reality we have created for our children.

all that said, and as Bentusi16 insinuated, there is a part of me that i am very well aware is perhaps forever a very damaged and emotionally angry little boy.

* in later life i found out many of the other kids i knew who notably "didn't get out to play" were also being abused.

Sleekit:
the supposedly pressing need for children to have constant adult supervision is a new thing, and indeed that has been mentioned by others in the thread.

it's largely borne out concern about the childs well-being (and that is admirable) BUT it is also largely driven a zeitgeist driven risk assessment that unfortunately doesn't bare the slightest resemblance to reality "on the ground".

the point i'm stumbling around trying to highlight is that "constant adult supervision" is, in all probability, having exactly the opposite effect from that which we would wish it to have. ie abused children will be spending more exposed to their abusers rather than less.

At least in regard to schools, the "constant adult supervision thing" is in large part due to the need for the school to be able to cover it's ass in case lawsuits occur. Let's say a kid vanishes off the playground while no adults were out there monitoring the area. Who are the parents going to blame, and likely in turn sue for negligence? The school. In fact, negligence law works much like this as well. If a kid drowns in a pool that the guardian knew they were in but weren't watching, the guardian can possibly be charged with negligence. You can argue that this is good or bad, but unfortunately regardless of how you feel about negligence crimes and lawsuits they are both here to stay in our legal system, so the need to be covered in these instances is also here to stay.

Also, I understand the more often the child is exposed to the abuser the more they will get abused. But again...what exactly is the school supposed to do about this? Send the child home with perfect strangers if they suspect abuse? If a child is being abused, the school shouldn't be messing around with their travel arrangements. They should be calling child services and getting an investigation started up.

the children be picked up from school is largely just the most obvious example but it is indicative of this...for want of a better word, "panic" that people uphold about making sure children exist in a world where they spend 100% of their time in the company of adults.

...I think this might have more to do with the fact that kids can't exactly drive themselves home if they aren't riding the bus, and so that the school isn't giving children away to total strangers they like to keep track of who the guardians do and don't want them to be picked up by.

like i said that is a new thing, but it's become so prevalent and omnipresent that, it seems to me at least, some people have a hard time realising just how new and different to the prior reality it actually is.

I think parents knowing where their children are isn't a new thing at all. I have seen statistics that shows a sharp decline in the size of the radius parents trust their children to be away from their home (it used to be a couple of miles in rural areas, but now it's a matter of feet). But I think this has less to do with a change in how much we trust children and more of a change in how much we trust adults. In rural areas, the most you have to worry about is wildlife. In suburbs and the city, you've got neighbors and strangers from who knows where up to who knows what. This is a substantial change in environment, and a change in how much parents trust it is not only reasonable but expected. I think anybody who trusts their kid wandering around city streets alone as much as they trust their kid wandering an empty field alone must be out of their freakin' mind.

the US may be different (after all we are always hearing how reliant it is on the automobile) but, dipping into the personally anecdotal just this once, i personally i walked to school every day i was at school (from primary to high), i was also largely told when i got home (once i was big enough) to "get changed, go out and don't come back til your dinner is ready" as was practically every other kid i knew *.

A lot of kids still walk to school, depending on the area. Most schools don't provide bus services within a mile or so of the school, so those kids are either driven in or walk. There is a school just around the corner and up the road a bit from me, and personally given the concentration of sex offenders in the neighborhood I'd drive my kid that 1 mile every day before I let them walk to and from school around here. But I frequently see kids between 7 and 11 walking on their own.

And yes, quite a few kids are driven to school. This depends on a number of things--the parent's schedule, whether or not they get bus service, how much the parents trust the bus service. I rode the bus the first few years I was in school, but after several bloody fights broke out on the bus and there was no sign of improvement my parents saw it fit to drive me and my brother from then on, until my brother learned to drive and he gave me rides from then on.

that was the world i grew up in and it was only 20 odd years ago.
and it was actually, statistically, probably a much more generally dangerous place.
and isn't that parents somehow didn't care then imo its that our risk assessment has gotten waaaay, waaay out of whack.

Again, given the concentration of sex offenders and the rate at which rapes, attempted rapes, and stalkings that occur within about three square miles of my apartment (and the nearby school), I think at least where I'm standing the risk is perfectly reasonable.

-snipped the rest for space-

I think I now understand you a bit more, and see what's going on. I hope you don't take this as me trying to discredit your experience (which I'm not--there is no doubt in my mind that what you experienced was as painful as you described)--but at least in the case of people picking their kids up I think you might be projecting a little. I especially got that feeling from this quote:

the stuff i see how, the 10s and 10s or cars outside primary schools hurried packing in the kids to whisk them away asap (even though the schools are in general are a pitiful distance from their homes) frankly that scares the shit out me given what i know it will mean for some of those kids.

Again, and I'm not sure if you knew this before I mentioned it, but most schools won't run busses within a mile or two of the school itself. And if parents don't trust their kids to walk that distance (which is often perfectly reasonable) they will often drive them. I can see how this can enable abuse as you said, but I don't quite understand what you want changed to do something about it. I think there should be facilities within the school for kids to report abuse for sure, and the school should have some ties with local law enforcement to be ready to intervene at a moment's notice if necessary. However, in the process of doing this, parents should be able to transport their kids to school however they deem it necessary. If the school doesn't provide bus service, then they should be able to pick them up. And it's only logical for the school to only allow approved family members and friends to pick the kids up, so that nobody sees it fit to pick up an ex's child out of spite or just make off with another kid altogether (which has also been attempted at my mom's school--total strangers trying to pick up pre-kindergarten kids who aren't old and vocal enough to say "I don't know this person.")

Again, please don't take this as me trying to discredit your knowledge of the functions of familial abuse, but I can't help but feel like a lot of what you're saying is less based on an objective examination of abuse and the school's role in it, and more based on your own experiences. While yes I think schools should do as much as they can to abate abuse of all kinds, I don't think making adults more absent in schools is the way to do that. That simply isn't reasonable--not from the parent's point of view of being sure they are sending their kids to a place they know has a certain amount of accountability, not from the school's point of view of also being sure they are accountable in case a lawsuit or negligence investigation arises, and not from the child's point of view of knowing where they can find help if and when they need it (whether that be help dealing with another child or another adult). Your opinions are based in the fear-driven idea that all adults are untrustworthy (or specifically that all adults who drive their kids a small distance from school are abusive), rather than the more realistic idea that there are some who are and some who aren't trustworthy, and the best we can do is make sure there are enough out there to keep watch and systems in place to try and make sure they don't go undetected for too long.

If it's any comfort, another thing I often hear from my mother is how new all of her school's policies are when it comes to dealing with abuse and bad family members. While it seems there was no infrastructure for dealing with that when you were growing up, I know with her school anyway they have direct ties with the police and the Department of Family Services, and have in some rare cases done interventions at the school (though these interventions usually have more to do with guardians who are on drugs rather than guardians who are abusive--though often drugs and abuse go hand-in-hand around here).

"well you're not wrong"

i have what has been called "a psychological problem with authority figures" and it's probably quite clear from other postage i tend to lean heavily on what some might call "empiricism".

i would like to say firmly though i don't believe "all" parents are abusive under any circumstances :\

i did go looking for figures and the range was i was finding were around the 10%-ish mark in "developed countries" up to around 40 or 50% in the shitholes of the world like Sub-Saharan Africa (these ofc being "known of" figures where the abuse is revealed to be able to be measured).

i may be wobble headed on the subject but i'm not quite that far gone as to suggest "all".

and i know fine well my life is not *typical* or *average*.
i have lived "a life less ordinary".

i didn't want to go where i went to tonight.

i ended out firing out paragraphs with tears streaming down my face in the middle of the night and the worst part is that's not even the half of it: my mum and her sisters were sexually abused, as were my cousins, as was "the girl next door" in that village we lived in, as were multiple people i knew from school (there's a weird thing were you kinda recognise each other sometimes), as was my last fiancÚ and all of them by members of their own family; fathers, grandfathers and step fathers. none of them "were done". not a one. they all walked away.

i didn't think you'd be up to respond so there are probably multiple edits even since you've posted.

it's probably not possible for me to discuss this in any depth and stay on an even keel. my emotional responses to the subject are not of a 42 year old man but are instead infused with the emotion laden memory of an extremely damaged child.

a child who in all honesty was probably nuts (and who most definitely on occasions has been since).

i remember thinking i was a robot because at one point i thought "no human could endure this". made perfect sense at the time. i even stuck knitting needles right through my arms to see if i felt anything and to see if they hit any machinery. by then i could do that "without pain", i had a poke around, but i didn't find any machinery which disappointed me because that meant i could die. i was about 8 then i think.

and my family...my family is frankly fucking weird too. but at least we've put it some good use i guess. i have previously called our life "a kind of psychological explosion" as most of us spun out said explosion and went on to do some exemplary things and/or become "famous" of highly skilled in various fields but all the time the stuff we do, the stuff we feel most strongly about, have been rejections of that which "he" would have approved OR they have been driven by a need to crush his highly negative opinions of us in our own minds.

my mother the "famous" "feminist writer"...my brother the "famous" and very much "in your face" "gay actor" and the others, maybe not so prolific or "famous" in the public arena, but still extreamly vociferous when they encounter and rile against what is for us more than familiar "oppression".

and me ? i've done a few societal things i'm proud of alongside my family (and weirdly i'm even a character in an award winning play) but i was the oldest and deliberately put myself in the firing line to keep him off the others (especially as i got older and figured i could take it) i'm damaged even moreso than my mum (and she'd be the first to admit that) i lived a life governed by fear and hate and i'm ashamed to say i have to deal with being the son of a monster and having someone who's very much the son of that monster living inside my head right alongside someone else who, more than anything in the world, doesn't want to be that...

sorry Lilani, it's probably not a good night for me posting on the internet and i've probably killed this discussion stone dead now by posting crazy personal shit. i'm rambling now and i should stop.

i thank anyone who posted. there were some interesting and thoughtful posts. i hope, at the very least, you all bare the subject in mind the next time the media or someone else goes off on one about the next "bogeyman".

Probably the best thing that can be done about family child abuse is to make sure kids learn that if somebody hurts them it's never their fault, and that it's ok to tell someone else about it. There's really no way to prevent the abuse from happening the first time, but if the victims aren't afraid to come forward then there's a better chance of stopping the abuse from happening again.

 

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