A journalist conducted a little social experiment earlier this year in London, England. She instructed her young daughters to look lost and scared, and then placed them in the path of busy shoppers. Over 600 adults walked by the waifs, avoiding contact of any kind. TV cameras recorded the shameful display.
The main reason why adults in the UK refused to even consider helping a distressed child in public is said to be due to pedophile hysteria, or an extreme prejudice against adults who interact with children. It would appear that even the most innocent and helpful of actions are seen only as overtures of a sexual predator to recruit new victims.
This sort of hypervigilance, and rush to condemn innocent adults, has been a problem in the United Kingdom for decades. Adults, particularly males, have been extremely reluctant to approach children that clearly needed help because of fear of arrest. This extreme prejudice has resulted in some unintended consequences beyond the preventible deaths of children, as males have avoided professions where they have to interact with children for fear of being branded a sexual predator.
I have always wanted to travel, particularly the United Kingdom. One of the questions I have puzzled over is what to do if I came across a child in distress, should I ever get the funds together to make the trip. My response has always been to do what I would do if I was at home in the US, and strive to protect and aid the child in whatever way I could while summoning help from the proper authorities. If this meant that I was to spend some time in a jail cell for my actions, then that would be fine with me!
But then news of a town in Great Britain named Rotherham started to hit the airwaves. At least 1400 children were the victims of sexual abused over a 17 year period, and the police knew about it! They just turned a blind eye, sometimes even arresting parents who were trying to save their children from such vile crimes.
So does this mean the pedophile panic in the UK was all a sham, and they actually welcome sexual predators who victimize children? Or is it just in Rotherham?
Any way you look at it, there are some mixed signals being sent.