Via Ampersand at Alas, A Blog: Pedophilia fears contributed to child’s death :
“The toddler wandered from her nursery school, Ready Teddy Go, through a door left open. A bricklayer named Clive Peachey drove past her in his truck. At the inquest, he stated, “I kept thinking I should go back. The reason I didn’t was because I thought people might think I was trying to abduct her.”
Instead, he assured himself that the parents must be “driving around” and would find her.
A few minutes thereafter, Abby fatally fell into an algae-covered pond.”
There’s no doubt that child molestation is a real problem, and increased awareness is a good thing. But as Abby’s story horribly illustrates, societies in which adults don’t feel free to approach or help strange children, are not child-safe.
I know that there are many men who don’t feel safe to go up to a distressed child and try to comfort them for fear that other people watching might take them for paedophiles. Yet the fear of paedophilia, while overstated as to frequency, should not be dismissed lightly either. It is rare, but it does occur (although most child abductions and paedophile molestations are not by strangers but by family, neighbours or acquaintances).
What’s the answer? Apparently gay male couples in the States in the few areas that allow them to adopt overwhelmingly ask for female infants to avoid the suspicion that they are ‘grooming’ a boy for sex, and then still have to travel with the child’s adoption papers and passport to prove their legal relationship because otherwise ‘concerned citizens’ take it upon themselves to report the two men with a small child to the police.
This level of paranoia cannot be healthy.