Monday, September 03, 2007

Sex Offenders VS Child Safety

Shirley Lowery

September 3, 2007

The laws enacted to monitor and control sex offenders are extraordinary. I think we can all agree to that. The general public believes these extraordinary laws are justified. The faces of murdered children, killed by sexual predators, are flashed on the TV urging us to "consider the children." And who could resist? Who would want to? Surely it is justified to face the threats to our children.

But what are those threats really? Is there a way to know?

Actually, yes...

- U.S. Department of Justice, National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children.

This report states that in 2002 an estimated 1,325,600 kids went missing. 797,500 were reported as missing.

628,900 of these children were identified as runaway/throwaway kids.

Of the other 528,100 children their parents didn't even bother to file a report.

Yet the we hear the constant scream of "if it saves one child". Oh, there are so many more than that who need to be saved so let’s look at where the danger lies.

Out of 1,315,600 missing kids 115 were snatched in the sense that everybody is worried about. And that includes kids that were snatched for ransom, and kids that were snatched by a disturbed or distraught person who wanted a child of their own, so how many are left that were snatched and killed by the sex offenders that are hiding behind every tree? That's what we're really worried about, right? Actually, the report tells us that number is 40 but let’s be generous and use the entire 115 who were snatched out of the 1.3 million who went missing.

You will find that less than 1/100th of 1% were snatched but the number that people care about and are willing to spend our resources on is much lower. To qualify for an outcry there must be a combination of sex, violence and death.

Page 11 of the report states that "…40 missing children who were stereotypically kidnapped and killed (an estimated 35) or were still missing (approximately 5) at the time of the study." Yes, that is too many. But are we going to ignore all the others to concentrate on less than 1/200th of 1%?

Now, it is a sad fact that there are more children who die each year than just these 40. Many more. How many more and how are they dying?

Center for Disease Control

A quick look at Top Ten deaths in minors in 2002 shows that there were 17,759 kids who died (excluding infant mortality).

Of those:

1296 were shot to death by someone,

145 were stabbed to death,

89 were strangled,

37 were burned alive,

17 were poisoned,

603 shot themselves,

559 hung themselves, and

6132 were killed in traffic accidents.

This tells us that in 2002:

Your child was 1400% more likely to hang themselves than be snatched and killed by a sex offender.

Your child was 1500% more likely to shoot themselves than be snatched and killed by a sex offender

Your child was 3200% more likely to be murdered by firearm by someone besides a sex offender.

Your child was 4000% more likely to be shot, stabbed, strangled, burned alive or poisoned than snatched and killed by a sex offender.

Your child was 15300% more likely to be killed in a car crash than snatched and killed by a sex offender.

We find more information here.

The American Journal of Psychiatry

- Among children under age 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killed by their own parents: 30% were killed by their mothers, and 31% by their fathers


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