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Warning: Playgrounds


Tass123
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Did the memorial park cache

not a good time to do that one sat on the rock logged the cache got ready to leave when an older woman came over and asked if I worked for the park when I said no she asked what I was doing there. Oh Oh I immedietly got what she thought I was doing there and explained all about geo-caching, She was not having any part of it so I pulled out the print out from the web site and showed her. She gave me the I got ya and know you are lying now look and told me that this was not memorial park. Well thats what the folks that hid this one called it . But this is NOT memorial park she told me again with the who are you tring to kid look. Ok I tried to explain again an even showed her the cache to no avail so It was time to go. She followed me to my car and took down my plate glaring at me the whole time.

The Local police came to my house that night and I had to talk to the reading police who confiscated the cache and had me have the folks that placed the cache contact them.

Needless to say you will not see doing any cache near play grounds and I would suggest that they are not a good location to place one.

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It is pretty sad when you think that people are that closed minded that they don't even listen to you when presented with the facts right in front of them. I was there the day before and am the one who told Tass that it was a nice quick easy cache to do. Sorry about that Tass. What a jerk that lady was <_<

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Had it been me, I wouldn't have left. I would have told her that if she wanted to call the the police on me for minding my own business in a public park, she could do so immediately so that I could present them with my argument when they arrived. Otherwise, she could've let me leave peacefully without following me or taking down personal information.

 

Not that I'm suggesting the way you handled it was wrong, because it wasn't. I just would have reacted a bit differently.

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Just a little bit of devil's advocacy: Most of the maps and aerials place this outside of a park and onto what looks like a school ground, with a running track being a distinctive feature. How sure is everyone that this cache that this cache was really in a public park?

 

Not that this question excuses the rude conduct of the muggle, nor any unprofessional conduct of the police officer (if such a thing occured).

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I thought majority agreed that hiding caches on school property was generally a bad idea. I personally would not want to be hunting around a school, whther in session or not. And if I was a school official I would not want others searching around the school for a cache.

 

A public park is fine (if that is where this cache was), and it sounds like this lady just needs some new hobby besides making trouble for others.

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Most of the maps and aerials place this outside of a park and onto what looks like a school ground, with a running track being a distinctive feature. How sure is everyone that this cache that this cache was really in a public park?

Keep in mind that while being close, many of the aerial maps available today are not completely accurate, and the same goes for the GIS data that makes up the roadways and property boundaries shown on maps such as gc.com, yahoo, etc. In my field, I work with GIS software, and frequently make maps using aerial photography of the state (color-infrared, 1m resolution, digital ortho-rectified) and overlaying map data on the photo--data including section lines, roadways, rivers, etc. Rarely does the line data--the roads, rivers, etc. line up with the actual features on the map--it is not unusual for segments of the data to be 30m off. On a now-archived cache in my hometown, the gc.com maps actually showed the cache between two sets of tracks on the railroad mainline, while it was actually about 15' away from the outside tracks (still too close, hence being archived) So, just because an online map shows a cache on public property doesn't mean it's so.

 

Here in Iowa, all rural public land is marked with a green or yellow sign every 1/8th mile (660 ft)--close enough that even in the densest timber you can usually see one sign to each side of you. This doesn't help any in urban settings, but could prove invaluable in a dispute with a neighboring landowner.

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The real issue here is that some rude, nosey woman has decided that it is a crime for an individual to be alone in a park.

 

She's probably telling all her friends about the pervert she chased out of the park. I feel sorry for her kids and grand kids.

 

EDIT: typo and clarification

Edited by Runaround
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I also did this cache a few weeks before tass123 and the only reason that I think I wasn't approached by someone who was there who was eyeballing me, was the fact that I was in uniform with a clipboard in my hand. Caching in Metro Boston and the surrounding area, people will call the cops on you fairly quickly. I do find that carrying a clipboard, and hang some sort of I.D off a lanyard around your neck, people will leave you alone. Military uniforms also help.

And the cache is not on school property for those wondering.

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I agree that it is a sad state of affairs when a guy that happens to be in a park by himself is automatically determined to be up to no good, and attempting to snatch someone's kid to do God only knows what that. Luckily, I haven't had that experience-yet. Always wonder when it will happen. Sometimes wonder if people around town ever develop those thoughts about me, since I'm a 25 yr old male with no spouse, kids, or girlfriend (at the time) and I'm very active with the area youth, coaching youth soccer and baseball, and a certified rifle instructor for the new 4-H shooting sports program we have. Really too bad for the kids when the dads are too lazy to do this stuff with them, and anyone else is suspected of being up to no good.

 

In your case, I probably would have stayed there and waited for the police, too. Definitely shows that you are indeed, NOT out to snatch some kid. Too bad some paranoid window-watcher had to ruin your day, and also too bad a cache was removed because of it.

 

On a side note, I wonder if she frequents the CourtTV forums? Someone should alert LE about this....

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About 40 local caches are on my ignore list for this very reason. I'm sure they are very nice caches, but they're in small local parks with playgrounds.

 

My caching partner and I are in our early 30's, not married and no kids. We're both exactly what people are told to look for frequenting parks.

 

We decided not to put ourselves in a position to have to prove to people or LE that we are not out trying to snatch kids by not being in those areas to begin with. We only go caching in larger parks or places where backpacks and GPSr's are more common. If I really need to get those caches, a friend of mine would go with me along with her kids, to provide 'cover'.

 

Sure, it cuts down on the number of caches we go for, but since we enjoy the hike to the cache more than the cache itself, park-n-grabs 40 feet from the road aren't our thing anyway.

 

We even went for a cache at Allegheny National forest last year and got so caught up in the hike that we forgot about the cache completly.

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OK ...Violation of your civil liberties. I'd go to the police station and request a copy of the police report .... it will have her name and address on it. I'd then find a way to bug the crap out of her! Don't get mad :P Get even! :blink:

 

I commend you for handling it so well.

 

:lol: ImpalaBob

 

Whoa .... Just read The Sacramento City Code post below ..... I'm glad I do not live in there! If my taxes are used to fund a Park, I had better be allowed to use it.

Edited by ImpalaBob
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I'm not sure how the laws in your jurisdiction work, but where I live, in Sacramento, CA, the city has seen fit to pass an ordinance that you *could* be cited for in this instance.

 

Sacramento City Code, Title 12, Chapter 12.72 ("Parks, Park Buildings, and Recreational Areas"), paragraph 12.72.060(I) ("Park Use Regulations") states:

 

No person eighteen (18) years or older shall remain in or enter a children’s playground area unless actually engaged in the care, custody or supervision of a person younger than eighteen (18) years of age who is using the facilities in the area;

 

And, for the record:

“Children’s playground area” means and includes park areas which are specifically designed and include equipment and structures for use by children.

 

Thanks to a couple of fabulous examples of humanity, going into a children's playground without a child (especially an adult male geocacher, doing "suspicious things") could definitely earn you a trip to the police station, at the very least. It's a misdemeanor here, not just a ticket and a slap on the hand. It ranks up with discharging a firearm in a park, possession of alcohol, and loitiering in the park between midnight and 5 a.m. -- the only other park offenses not considered "infractions."

 

Doesn't that frost you? I don't know if other places have similar laws, but they very well might.

 

Wow, post number 2. I'm out of control.

Edited by IncitatusMaximus
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The Geocachers Code addresses this. If you read down into the examples, one of them mentions that hides on near where children play can cause alarm in parents (and children who have been warned to be wary of being approached by strangers) .

 

Use caution where children play. Parents are understandably concerned when strangers are near their children.

 

Personally, I'm extremely unfond of playground hides. They don't last (kids muggle them) and they're awkward to do. If a park is large enough for a hide away from the equipment, fine.

 

My condolences on your experience. We've explained geocaching a number of times - always successfully - but it was either me (middle aged woman) or us as a couple. I think being a single male of any age is more suspicous, especially around kids.

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I'm not sure how the laws in your jurisdiction work, but where I live, in Sacramento, CA, the city has seen fit to pass an ordinance that you *could* be cited for in this instance.

 

Sacramento City Code, Title 12, Chapter 12.72 ("Parks, Park Buildings, and Recreational Areas"), paragraph 12.72.060(I) ("Park Use Regulations") states:

 

No person eighteen (18) years or older shall remain in or enter a children’s playground area unless actually engaged in the care, custody or supervision of a person younger than eighteen (18) years of age who is using the facilities in the area;

 

And, for the record:

“Children’s playground area” means and includes park areas which are specifically designed and include equipment and structures for use by children.

 

Thanks to a couple of fabulous examples of humanity, going into a children's playground without a child (especially an adult male geocacher, doing "suspicious things") could definitely earn you a trip to the police station, at the very least. It's a misdemeanor here, not just a ticket and a slap on the hand. It ranks up with discharging a firearm in a park, possession of alcohol, and loitiering in the park between midnight and 5 a.m. -- the only other park offenses not considered "infractions."

 

Doesn't that frost you? I don't know if other places have similar laws, but they very well might.

 

Wow, post number 2. I'm out of control.

You have got to be kidding me.

 

That has to be unconstitutional. If my tax dollars pay for the park I should be allowed to be there.

 

No offence but I hate California.

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Any and all parks are fair game for a geocache.

 

Schools are not, but only because of the undue alarm they can cause when found by accident. Not because schools are a bad place to be. They typically allow people to use their grounds (after hours) for recreation.

 

If my handy local playgorund and it's surrounding 47 acres don't let me fly a kite, or sit and read a book, or whatever other harmless activity I choose to do, if I get the urge then perhaps they should bulldoze the park, and turn it into condo's who will help pay tax for other parks where I can.

 

As for the woman. Some people catch on immediatly when you explain about geocaching. Some don't. That cache could have been there by a permit and it would have had the same outcome. I'd of been tempted to ask he for her ID and then follow her to her car and take down her plate because she was stalking me. Stalking is a crime. Geocaching is not. Not to mention she was utterly stupid. Blatant and obviouse following of people who really are up to no good gets you hurt or killed. It's in the 'be vigulant 101' manuals that are all over the place now thanks to 9/11. When you report on things and people you be discrete or you risk your life. Of course reporting on harmless people won't get you killed, it will just teach you bad habits for when they finally do observe something real.

 

As a side note: The police and our politicians should not be annoyed at false alarms. It's the cost of doing business, and not a problem with the public doing their best to enjoy life liberty and the persuit of happiness.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I am writing to note that, in February of this year, the Geocache Listing Requirements/Guidelines document was updated to add elementary and secondary schools to the list of "off limits" locations for hiding a geocache. That means everything short of a college or university campus. And the wording is "at or near," so don't be surprised if you're quizzed by your reviewer if you hide a PVC pipe in the little park right across the street from the schoolyard, or a tupperware behind the athletic fields.

 

There are plenty of local laws similar to the Sacramento example given above. It is common to say that being on school grounds is considered trespassing unless related to school business or activities.

 

I am not at all saying that I agree with the conduct described above. But it is a good example of why the guidelines were revised. There were many, many other examples of law enforcement encounters and bomb squad callouts due to caches placed at schools, often without permission and sometimes even with permission.

 

As with other guidelines, there is some room for flexibility here but the standards are tough. I insist on seeing written evidence of permission from the school district, and that the cache page reflects that fact.

 

There are still lots of "grandfathered" caches on school grounds that were hidden prior to the rule change. After reading this thread, use good judgment and consider skipping the cache or abandoning the hunt if you feel uncomfortable, like you are being "watched."

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I live near Sacramento, and I know of that disgusting law. California disgusts me, too. Or should I say 'California me repugna también'.

 

I think that although the cops probably will hassle you, my understanding of the rule is that you can't be in the playground area. Like the part filled with the little wood chips or foam or whatever with the rides. Not the surrounding park. I could be wrong. But it wouldn't stop me from seeking out a cache near a playground. & if some busybody wanted to call the cops, i'd hand her my phone. I think I would avoid identifying which vehicle was mine. Besides, Marcie's mouth and temper could bring anyone to tears.

 

I never see any cops hassling the thugs that spend all day playing basketball at the parks i'm driving by.

Edited by Marcie/Eric
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I'm not sure how the laws in your jurisdiction work, but where I live, in Sacramento, CA, the city has seen fit to pass an ordinance that you *could* be cited for in this instance.

 

Sacramento City Code, Title 12, Chapter 12.72 ("Parks, Park Buildings, and Recreational Areas"), paragraph 12.72.060(I) ("Park Use Regulations") states:

 

No person eighteen (18) years or older shall remain in or enter a children’s playground area unless actually engaged in the care, custody or supervision of a person younger than eighteen (18) years of age who is using the facilities in the area;

 

And, for the record:

“Children’s playground area” means and includes park areas which are specifically designed and include equipment and structures for use by children.

 

Thanks to a couple of fabulous examples of humanity, going into a children's playground without a child (especially an adult male geocacher, doing "suspicious things") could definitely earn you a trip to the police station, at the very least. It's a misdemeanor here, not just a ticket and a slap on the hand. It ranks up with discharging a firearm in a park, possession of alcohol, and loitiering in the park between midnight and 5 a.m. -- the only other park offenses not considered "infractions."

 

Doesn't that frost you? I don't know if other places have similar laws, but they very well might.

 

Wow, post number 2. I'm out of control.

The code stated is a Municipal Code, I don't see anywhere where it's a misdemeanor. I believe it is an infraction only. There are some misdo sections stated as defined by the California Penal Code, but not in the municipal codes parks charter.

 

The possibility of actually getting issued a citation can't be strong. If confronted by a law enforcement officer, a truthful explanation should get you by.

 

I am tasked with enforcing the municipal codes of my city (all infractions), and we have some laws on the books that will never be enforced (pulling a leaf off a tree or pulling a blade of grass technically is a violation) but no one has ever (and I doubt ever will be) cited for it.

 

Just because the city government made it a municipal code doesn't mean it's enforced to the strictest letter. An officers ability to use discretion is a wonderful thing.

 

Ed

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The code stated is a Municipal Code, I don't see anywhere where it's a misdemeanor. I believe it is an infraction only. There are some misdo sections stated as defined by the California Penal Code, but not in the municipal codes parks charter.

 

If you check 12.72.020(B ), it says:

B. Violation of Sections 12.72.060(I), 12.72.060(L), 12.72.080 or 12.72.090 of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor. Violation of any other provision of this chapter shall be an infraction. The provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations promulgated hereunder shall be enforced by the employees of the neighborhood services department, city park service officers and city police officers. (Prior code § 27.02.020)

 

The code in question is 12.72.060(I). So it's definitely a misdemeanor. You can find the whole thing online here.

 

I actually asked a good friend of mine who's a city police officer, and he said, if faced with a citizen complaint, he'd most likely write the citation, release the person, and let the city attorney sort out the rest. Since the law's on the books, they're supposed to enforce it. Of course, they're not *actively* out patrolling the playgrounds, but if good lady citizen called in a complaint of someone lurking around a playground ... it kind of forces the issue. He added that he wouldn't want to take the chance that the person really *was* up to no good, and his failure to enforce it caused harm to come to a child. So he'd err on the side of caution, which seems reasonable from a police officer's point of view (not to be confused with a taxpaying citizen's view, who is being prohibited from using something I'm forced to pay for, but that's a whole different thread LOL).

 

I agree that it's really sad we even have to think about laws like that. But, they exist, and I'd personally rather skip a cache than spend $3k in attorney's fees, and probably still lose the case anyway (since *any* reason to be there is prohibited).

 

On a brighter note, this ordinance only applies in the City of Sacramento. I checked the codes of neighboring cities and counties, and they don't have any such thing on the books (yet).

Edited by IncitatusMaximus
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Isn't it sad that we need laws like this? We are supposed to be free; however, every day low-lifes make us lose more freedoms. I understand why we have the law, but man it seems unfair.

We don't need laws like this. We need parents who supervise their children when at public parks. I've got a feeling that this Sacramento law may not stand up to judicial review. Of course, it would probably require that someone get arrested/cited and then have enough money for the lawyer to take it on.

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This was an unfortunate incident. However, we do live in a world where people abduct and abuse children and when that happens to a child they will never be the same even through adulthood. Neither will their family.

 

If, you had children and saw a lone male walking around a playground or school - maybe with a pocket full of toys - I think you would be suspicious too and fearful for your children.

 

You might even ask what he's doing. You might not believe him. You might feel it necessary to do something about this because you've read about men abducting children by telling them "I'm looking for my puppy - can you help me?" or any variety of bogus stories.

 

I occasionally cache with adult males. They have told me that they won't go to playgrounds or schools alone unless they have a "female escort". Yes, it is too bad that life is like this but sadly, that's the reality.

 

In 1987, when I worked with sexual abuse and incest survivors the rate of sexual abuse was three out of five females and two out of five males. Those are staggering statistics particularly given the fact that those were reported abuse cases.

 

Don't take it personally. I believe the woman felt she was protecting the children. The police were doing their job.

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:blink::P:D

 

This whole thing is a load of crap. If you pay taxes you paid for the park and as such should be allowed to use it.

 

I am an adult(almost 30) male. I geocache in parks. I don't wait till rainy days when there are no kids around. I prefer the park to be empty, but that is'nt a big issue for me. I have no kids or signifigant other to help make me look less suspicious. I just don't act suspicious.

 

I have only had the cops called on me twice that i know of and both times i had parked around a corner so the caller didn't see my car(or plates) and i made my getaway before the black and whites arrived(yes i did see them, but i was driving by after having left).

 

:blink::laughing: don't fear these sorts of people, just be aware that they exist.

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New York City may have a similar law. I have not seen it posted, but I was asked to leave a playground that had a benchmark in it. For a different benchmark, I see, in benchmarking, a post by someone who says: The park closes at dusk and the playground says No adults except in the company of children.

I would certainly hope that such a bizarre law would be required to be posted at the entrance to whichever playground to which it applies. How would I, an east-coaster, know that I could not search for a benchmark in that park in Sacramento?

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In 1987, when I worked with sexual abuse and incest survivors the rate of sexual abuse was three out of five females and two out of five males. Those are staggering statistics particularly given the fact that those were reported abuse cases.

 

Those statistics can't be right.

 

You were talking about the general population right?

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I'm a thirty year old woman, and yet even I was given the eye when I was trying to do a cache near a playground. The person giving me the eye was a dad around my age. It was weird, but I felt like I was doing something wrong, and was a pervert. It's the day and age, I guess.

 

There is another cache in our town that is actually in some play equipment. I'm waiting for a day that I can take my children with me before I will attempt that one. I walked by it once just to get a take on where it was, and there was a mother with her children. She looked at me suspiciously, too, so I just kept walking.

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How about this for fun? On Mothers Day in the afternoon I was at a ball field with my dog. We were working on retrieves along the base lines from home plate. A car pulls up and a woman gets out and comes to hang on the backstop fence. The others in the car a couple of kids and a man all head over to another ball field. After just a few minutes I hear her talking and turn to see what she is saying. She wants to know why I'm here and that this is a field for her grandkids. This is a city park and there are 8-10 ball fields all around. Nothing special about the one I picked other than it was close to where I parked and the water fountains. I wondered to myself why she didn't just go with the others when she starts getting louder, saying that I don't belong here, that dogs dont belong here, that this is supposed to be a special day for her-little does she know how special it will become. My first reply was civil and I pointed out that her grand kids seemed to be having a good time over on the other field playing ball. I haven't raised my voice, no name calling on my part, just telling her she is wrong that it is a public park and that she would be better if she went over with her family. "Don't tell me what to do" proceeds her getting louder and she starts using racial slurs, she happend to be black. There was an odd point where she became soft spoken and the conversation turned very odd and I got the feeling she might be drunk from her speech. When she threatened me I had enough. At this point I called a friend of mine who was a police officer and who was working in the area and asked him to drop by. Her son/son-in-law had come over and was telling her to shut up, leave the guy alone, come over here with us, etc but she didn't want to have anything to do with him and was hanging on the fence yelling at me when the police roll up.

After it was all said and done and the report stated she was verbally abusive, made death threats, resisted arrest, had alcohol on her breath, etc she got a ride downtown.

I'm not leaving a playground or a park that I have every right to be in and if sending someone's mom to jail on mothers day isn't proof of that, well I don't know what is.

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New York City may have a similar law. I have not seen it posted, but I was asked to leave a playground that had a benchmark in it. For a different benchmark, I see, in benchmarking, a post by someone who says: The park closes at dusk and the playground says No adults except in the company of children.

I would certainly hope that such a bizarre law would be required to be posted at the entrance to whichever playground to which it applies. How would I, an east-coaster, know that I could not search for a benchmark in that park in Sacramento?

  Most playgrounds in Sacramento are surrounded by fences, separating them from the rest of whatever park or neighborhood they may be in.  On the gate that one must go through to get into the playground is a sign, citing the relevant law, and stating that the only adults allowed therein are those accompanying children.

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"Don't tell me what to do" proceeds her getting louder and she starts using racial slurs, she happend to be black. There was an odd point where she became soft spoken and the conversation turned very odd and I got the feeling she might be drunk from her speech. When she threatened me I had enough.

Those weren't racial slurs! Everyone knows that racial slurs can only COME from white people, they can't be directed AT them. Just like hate crimes, white middleaged men can only be the PERPETRATORS of hate crimes, never the VICTIMS of them. Just ask Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton if you don't believe me.

 

Signed - Honest, I ain't bitter! :ph34r:

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After it was all said and done and the report stated she was verbally abusive, made death threats, resisted arrest, had alcohol on her breath, etc she got a ride downtown.

I'm not leaving a playground or a park that I have every right to be in and if sending someone's mom to jail on mothers day isn't proof of that, well I don't know what is.

Holy Smokes :lol: Hope she had a happier Mother's Day downtown :ph34r:

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In 1987, when I worked with sexual abuse and incest survivors the rate of sexual abuse was three out of five females and two out of five males. Those are staggering statistics particularly given the fact that those were reported abuse cases.

 

Those statistics can't be right.

 

You were talking about the general population right?

Current statistics reported by professionals working in the field are that 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused by age 18.

 

Numbers show that, for reported cases only, the numbers are that 1 in 10 adults is a child molester. The number of women works out to about 3% of those. So out of 1000 adults, 100 will be molesters, 97 of them male, and 3 female.

 

And that all of those figures above are believed to be drastically under-reported. Actual numbers may be two or three times that.

 

Nearly all actual sexual abuses on children are committed by someone they (and most especially, their parents) know and trust.

 

That said, I'm an overly cautious parent... and I still wouldn't have a problem with someone caching in a local park or playground. Big difference between someone obviously at a task, and someone observing or trying to talk to my kids. But then, funny thing... kids are pretty darn safe when a parent is actually SUPERVISING them... something many people seem to have forgotten these days. I should qualify that... make that "safe from people"... it doesn't seem to keep them from falling off the tire swing when mom is ten feet away and just not fast enough!

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Current statistics reported by professionals working in the field are that 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused by age 18.

 

Numbers show that, for reported cases only, the numbers are that 1 in 10 adults is a child molester. The number of women works out to about 3% of those. So out of 1000 adults, 100 will be molesters, 97 of them male, and 3 female.

 

And that all of those figures above are believed to be drastically under-reported. Actual numbers may be two or three times that.

I'd like to see the source of these statistics, and be somehow assured that they're reliable. There's no way that 3 out of 10 adults I see on a daily basis are molsting children. There are definitely some sick people in our society, but not that many. I'd also like to see their definition of "sexually abused" and "molested".

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