Dec
07
2008

Too afraid to do anything

I suggest you read this article from the times:

 http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/relationships/article5288060.ece

It is about how as a society we are becoming all too cautious, how we are scared to touch people, children in particular for fear of being seen as trying to abduct them or being classed as a child molester or something else not only perverse but also wrong. It is about how children are kept indoors for fear about what might happen to them outside.

I used to help in the Beaver Scout which is boys from 6-8 years old. I helped there for years and constantly came up against this fear. For example, you would never put yourself in a situation where you were alone with a child or even a group of children. we couldn’t hug them or comfort them (yes, little boys do cry), hell, even some of them games were made too complicated. For example, we had one game called tails where they had a sock sticking out the back of their trousers like a tail, then “catchers” had to run round and grab all the tails they could. This if fine, but what happens when a child can’t get their tail in correctly, do we just stand there and list instructions? In fact we used to get one of the female leaders to deal with it. They understood why we got them to do that, but still, we shouldn’t even have to think about such things.

I can think of many times in the past where I have been in town or a public place, seen a child seemingly on their own and not gone over to help. instead I have looked around to see if I can identify the parents. Even waited until they do turn up so as not to go over to the child. I fear that if I did just as that parent turned up I would be shouted at, branded etc just for trying to provide honest help. After all, how are they to know my intentions.

Of course this isn’t just our fault, this is fuelled by government. This about how much use the CRB is for example. All it says is that at that time I haven’t been caught doing anything wrong to children that could have me prosecuted. How many people does CRB actually stop I wonder. We are talking about convicted child molesters etc who then seek work with children etc. I am guessing not many. And even if it didn’t stop them, I have just said that you never get left in a room alone with children anyway. In short, the CRB is a worthless bit of paper that does nothing more than make us feel a little safer from something that doesn’t exist.

I feel for the children growing up in this mess. I would give them a hug and say it will all be OK, but I can’t…

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