At the risk of making global, alarmist statements, I believe that there is a simple measure parents can take to ratchet up the safety of their children: turn to women for help with children, not men.
The reason is simple: 95% of pedophiles are men. The odds of finding a woman with that personality disorder are simply far slimmer.
A story that broke today in several media organs is the sentencing and incarceration of Adam Croote, someone who was a registered sex offender in upstate New York and was previously the poster child for missing children. To view the details of the story, click here. In any case, the family who hired him knew he was a sex offender, and out of the goodness of their hearts, gave this man all sorts of odd jobs to help him out. Tragically, their daughter was choked and raped by Croote while he babysat her. The oversight of these parents is obvious. Thankfully the daughter is alive, but she will require a tremendous amount of help in order to live a normal life. And thankfully, Croote, whose own life story is horrendous, is behind bars.
Very few people would be willing to take such a risk as to hire a registered sex offender to babysit their children. I hope that nobody will ever make a decision like that again. But, when it comes to making a decision as to who should watch your children, you don’t need to know if a potential babysitter is on the offenders’ registry. Go with the stats. 95% of pedophiles are male.
And teach your children accordingly. Need help crossing the street? Ask a mommy.