Sunday, April 1, 2012

Latest Column from Darcy Mellsop - "See no evil"

"See no evil"

I was recently reading about Piha residents who have launched a campaign to remove a convicted child sex offender from their midst.

It reminded me of the same sort of incident in Kapiti recently where it was discovered that a convicted sex offender was living close to a school. I contacted the school to offer a session for the parents on what we could do to keep our kids safe, but it didn’t happen because the sex offender moved on. I didn’t contact the school for that one sex offender, I contacted the school about all the sex offenders that potentially lived near by. Commonly it’s the case of, if the known offender has moved, it’s all safe now. Those in the know, know that it’s not the case at all. There is some saying about an ostrich having its head in the sand, but I can’t remember it right now, but I’m sure you know it.

I could spend hours writing this column, but it’s important that I make this point.

I know that to many that this might sound like I’m trying to sell courses, but it’s actually about Avoidance. The key to Avoidance is consciously recognising a threat and taking effect action to avoid it.

Obviously, denial is not an effective strategy – though a much chosen strategy. It’s very quick and very easy. Job done.

Thinking that we are safe when the sex offender moves on is denial. You know the saying “I’ll believe it when I see it” well, when it comes to the protection of our kids, when it’s about things we wouldn’t do ourselves and therefore aren’t familiar with the strategies of sex offenders, it’s more like “I’ll see it when I believe it”. When you and your kids know what to look for, then you have a better chance of seeing it if it is present.

We know that we might be in a car accident, so we put on our seatbelts. Because we know that it’s possible to be in a car accident, we see things on the road that worry us – people cutting through late orange or red lights, not following the road code when giving way, aggressive drivers, those that follow to close behind, and so on. We see these threats as we know, we clearly know that they elevate the chance of a very real accident happening. That’s not denial. Also, knowing this doesn’t stop us from driving. But our acceptance of the possibility means that we can change the balance of possibility of being involved in an accident. We see a threat, and usually give a very wide berth.

Alternatively being completely unaware increases the likelihood of being in an accident – or even causing one and not knowing it.

So let’s use our energy correctly. Let’s be real so we can see reality. Let’s appreciate that most people are good, but there are many (plural) around that are dangerous.

Do not confuse the energy used to chase out of town a single convicted sex offender with the energy that is used to arm our kids with the tools to indentify when they are being scoped by any sex offender. Those energies are mutually exclusive – the former deals with perhaps an element – if they are not reformed, the latter focuses on the reality – those not yet caught.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.