“Stranger Danger Campaigns” Are the Danger.
Child abuse has become a hot topic over the last fifteen years. Headline grabbing occassional rapes, snatches and murders by persons unknown to the child have grabbed the headlines and the mindset. As a consequence there have been “Stranger Danger” campaigns waged relentlessly.
They are of no real help in combatting the issue of child molestation: in fact they do great harm. The fact of the matter is that in excess of 99% of children who are molested will be subjected to this abuse by their father, their uncle, another family member, friend, teacher, priest or other adult known to them and entrusted with their care. The stranger danger campaign is a piece of the fabric of denial that still surrounds this issue. It is not strangers who provide the dangers but daddy and uncle bob.
For a child being subjected to this kind of abuse by a trusted carer or parent the stranger danger campaigns themselves are very confusing: “I have to be careful because strangers might do to me what daddy does”. But if it is not OK when a stranger does it, why is it OK for daddy to do so? The childs’ existential bind is hieghtened by this.
A raped child can only escape by repressing the knowledge of what has been done or is being done to them This sets up the psychology of trauma and pain which leads to self and other abuse, drug taking, criminality and prostitution. Oh … and it is responsible for most “cases” of ADHD too. Ritalin helps minds split by unbearable reality get through the day. Stranger Danger campaigns help those abusers get off the hook.
How long will it be before we stop missing the point?