Monday, September 15, 2008

Family Fortunes

The new scheme to give parents the option to find out if people close to their children have a history of sexual offenses is about to start. Detractors of the scheme are already warning about vigilante attacks and there's no doubt that could well be an issue shortly. But one thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned is that this move, if it helps at all, will only help protect those children whose parents are bothered about protecting them. We seem to live in a world where the government is obsessed with giving parents the choice of protecting their child, of sending their child to a better school, of getting good healthcare for their child. No-one is looking out for those children whose parents aren't jumping through hoops for them.

And when we consider that the vast majority of incidences of child sexual abuse happen WITHIN the family, we have to wonder whether this move is just pandering to tabloid hysteria. Actually we don't have to wonder - it's blindingly obvious. There's so much really good legislation we could be bringing in to improve the lives of children and make sure they're reaching their full potential. This isn't it and it's infuriating when the government would rather be posturing to please the tabloids than getting on with actually solving the very real problems faced by our kids.

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