Sunday, September 11, 2011

Are Our Children Safe?

On Wednesday morning a 3 year old boy was abducted from his home (you can read about it here), after almost 4 days of searching little Kienen was returned home last night.  Thank god!  I have spent the last 4 days checking the Internet constantly hoping for an update saying he was found or at least spotted.  I was so happy when Danny came in to wake me up and said "they found the little boy". 

It has been 20 years since a story like this has captured the country like this.  I was 7 when Michael Dunahee went missing and I, vaguely, recall the media frenzy.  With Kienan being 3, the same age as Lynden, it has captured my attention fully.  As a parent your heart breaks for this family as I try (not) to imagine what is going through his mother's mind.  Sadly, it's a reminder as to how easily your child can be taken from you no matter where you are.  I know I've made a more conscience effort to check all doors are locked when we go to bed or when we're out and about during the day. 

It's amazing how becoming a parent changes your view on things.  I remember Lynden's first Halloween (he was 5 weeks old) and we went into the mall with Lynden's godfather (not realizing there would be kids everywhere trick or treating).  It was a zoo!  Kids running from store to store to store, parents trying to keep an eye on children.  We passed one parent who had a child, around 5, wearing one of those backpacks with a tether.  Our friend pointed it out and said it was cruel to have a child on a leash, I told him it was brilliant.  If I hadn't been a mother I would have agreed with him, but as a mother I saw the scene at the mall to be the perfect place for someone to take a child.  Thankfully I worked at the mall and knew the security guards; our last Halloween in the Okanagan I asked if they had ever had a missing child during trick or treating.  I was quite thrilled when they said no - they had 1 occurrence of a child who gotten lost in the crowd the year before but never a missing child. 

I know I've had that split second panic when we've been in a store and I turn to look at Lynden and he's not standing there - he's really bad for standing directly behind me so when I look to my left and he's not there I turn to the right and he's not there either.  Thankfully he's amazing about holding our hand, stroller or shopping cart when we're out.  But that split second stops my heart, everytime. 

It's devastating to think you can take all the precautions in the world to keep your children safe and someone is still able to sneak into your house and take your child.  Not only has your world come down around you but now your home, the place you deserve to feel safe, has been violated.  Someone the Hebert family did not know was in their home and took their child; it makes me sick to think this happens.

It makes you question the world around you.  Do you really know your neighbours or your neighbourhood? Is there someone in your neighbourhood you should know about? 

In Canada we are not given access to the Sex Offenders Registry List, it's against our privacy act.  If we were allowed to find out where they lived I don't know I could look at it.  I know this sounds crazy; why wouldn't I want to know where people who could pose a serious threat to my children live?  In that aspect, yes, I would want to know.  I don't know I could handle knowing how many sex offenders are out there.  To me it would be like opening Pandora's Box; I'd be terrified to see the evil out there and that I'd never be able to take back that knowledge. 

Is ignorance bliss? 

If the list was made public, would you look?  Why or why not?

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