At last technology is starting to work in the favor of good people trying to protect children. We are starting to get the message out regarding the epidemic proportions of child abuse are it at home or abroad, the information about figures and the damage is being communicated with a click or a tweet. People have to be disillusioned that it’s not some anonymous “boggy man” or woman? Who hides in wait in an alley way or in a car, in “dodgy dark places? It happens to children in all communities across social strata and religions and that most abusers are known to the children. That the abuser is trusted with the care of the child and that the majority of cases of abuse are start before children are 4 years old. Before they have the benefit of asking for help.
So now technology is being used for good? We good people are passing on this important and to some startling information, with just a “click.”
This is a good step in the right direction, but it doesn’t stop with a “click”. We have to read this information and pause and consider what this means to us in our daily life. What responsibility does this now leave us with? Is it starting to feel a bit heavy now, this knowledge, this knowledge that has to stay with you and change how you think, it can’t be dispersed with a “click”.
We now have to look around and think about all the children that live in our house, apartment block or street. Visit our parks and hang around the shops. These are the children this is about. Not some poor little unseen child in another block another street another country. They live next door to someone you know, even if it’s not the other side of the wall. It may be that house up the lane, or on top of the hill.
These networks we are creating need to be aware that we don’t enable the very people intent on wheedling their way into the lives of children, in order to abuse them. The difficulty is that good well meaning people, believe it or not look very much like pedophiles. We are human these awful human beings don’t have a tattoo on their forehead or a unique identifying mark. We can’t tell the difference I am afraid. The sexual predator can spot a struggling parent at a 1000 paces and knows exactly how to groom them to gain access to their children. They will be charm personified helpful, manipulative and make them wonder how they ever did without them. The emotional bully or violent abuser can use equally effective coping strategies to cover their tracks. As we carry this new responsibility of looking out for children, everywhere and make it easier for them to seek refuge. Be aware these abusers are already amongst us, they know what we know and they can slip seamlessly into the “protector” role. Be careful, be aware and be prepared to act.