I remember going out on Halloween as a child and being warned not to eat any apples or unpackaged goods on Halloween because bad people put in them broken glass, razor blades etc in order to hurt children. Those were the good old days when all we had to worry about was poisoned candy.
Today the big fear is sex offenders. How big is the fear?
Certainly people are worried. Many cities and in a number of states have passed laws requiring registered sex offenders to stay in doors on Halloween night. Some laws even require them to keep their lights off.
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One parenting expert announced on the Today Show, that no child under the age of 13 should go out without and adult.
“People put on masks, they put on disguises, and there still are people who do bad things.”
Certainly, part of what this expert says is true. People to put on masks and wear disguises. Isn’t that the whole point of Halloween?
But how true is the rest of this statement? Are child molesters nation wide gearing up for a big night of perversion with our little innocent ones?
To answer this question, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina examined the sex crime reports from 30 states over the years 1997 to 2005. Here is their report:
“There is zero evidence to support the idea that Halloween is a dangerous date for children in terms of child molestation.”
They concluded that Halloween seems to be one of the safest days of the year, since it was so rare to find anything happening that day. In spite of the wide spread fear, Halloween is not a dangerous sex crime night.
But Halloween is a dangerous night. While the police are going door to door making sure that all the former sex offenders are safely locked away under home arrest, our children are wandering around the streets in the dark in extreme danger. On Halloween there is a 400% increase in kids being hit by cars.
It seems to me that if on Halloween night we rallied our police force to patrol the streets keeping our kids safe, rather than to violate the civil rights of former criminals, everyone would be better off.
One last thing:
Remember the razor blades and poisoned candy that we were warned about when we were children?
Researchers at the University of Delaware studied the Halloween crime reports from 1958 until today. There findings? From 1958 until today no child was ever poisoned by a stranger on Halloween.
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