It is ironic to note how there were no laws on preventing sex offenders from retaining their parental custody rights in the country. In fact, the Child Protection Act, which has not been passed, was only drafted when Amy Carns, who wished to protect her daughter from her then-husband who had been convicted of sexual crimes, was told by the Child Protective Services that they could not offer any help as her daughter was not a victim.
Amy then went on to meet Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood and played a part in drafting the Child Protection Act. Senator Hopgood observed that various political parties have shown their support for the bill but still urges the public to write letters to their representatives. He hopes that the law will be enacted in the near future. The act is aimed to protect children by preventing parents with sexual criminal records from taking custody of them. While the bill has not surfaced on the senate floor, it is expected to be brought up before the end of this year. If the bill is passed, judges would have the right to deny custodial rights of parents who are on the sex-offender registry.
However, what needs to be taken account into is the possibility of a vengeful spouse taking advantage of the law to gain leverage on the other parent. In addition, those who are on the registry may not be actual sex offenders given that indecent exposure (e.g. public urination) are considered a sex offense. As such, should the law be enacted, I believe the registry in question should be filtered accordingly. What do you think?
The couple was convicted despite the lack of evidence in allegations that they physically abused and locked their 12 year old daughter in the basement. The couple has eight kids, some of which are stepchildren. Six of their children are currently in foster care. The couple faces up to a six-month jail term. Michael D. Pitman discusses more about the suit in his article.
Emily Bourke discusses in her report about The Federal Opposition urging parents, schools and youth to make suggestions for the Coalition’s discussion paper detailing child safety policies. Susan Mclean, an expert on cyber safety, talks about how Australian police should be educated in using social networking to aid in the investigation of cyber bullying cases and her concerns with Tumblr.
The Pennsylvania State Police are offering free child safety seat inspections at various sites in the state to encourage road safety. With unbelted passengers having the highest fatality rate in car accidents, there will be a zero-tolerance policy towards any violation of the state’s seat belt and child safety seat laws. For more information, refer to this article by the Pennsylvania State Police.
There is an increasing concern among parents about online safety for their children. With internet and social media being a significant part of the lives of young people, parents and schools are invited to express their opinion on a Coalition Discussion Paper about improving online safety for youth. Cowper MP, Luke Hartsuyker, shows his support for the CDP. Click through to find out more in this article by Greg White.
It will be the first time where trained child advocates aged between 10 and 17 will lead discussions on child safety as they engage their peers. Sime Darby together with Childline Malaysia Project are working together in preparation for the Children for Child Protection Forum and Exhibition. Find out more about the first-of-its-kind forum from this article by Nabila Sabri.
Read about a local man who was hailed as a hero when he stopped his bus to help two unsupervised boys playing on the road, and a thought-provoking piece on child safety rules. Check them out:
- It is important to consider lights and paint fumes when preparing the nursery for your new baby’s arrival. Read why here.
- A local man became a hero when he stopped his transit bus to rescue to little boys who were playing on a busy freeway. You can read all about it in the Herald Sun.
- Local business owners in the region have been warned about book scam artists calling to sell book sponsorships and saying they are affiliated with a local hospital. Read where and how here.
- Tragic deaths of children at the hands of murderers are spine-chilling, but overall, we are still living in safe times. Learn about the safety rules to teach your children.
- The Children’s Protection Act will be discussed on the senator’s table so that judges can deny sex offenders their parental custody upon review. Read more about how the bill came about in this article.
- Don’t be surprised at the title of our focus for this week “Child Safety Rule 1: It’s Okay to Talk to Strangers”.
Most of us probably grow up being told by our parents not to speak to strangers, but Lenore Skenazy actually advocates the opposite. In fact, one of the most important child safety rules to teach your child is not to be afraid of speaking to strangers. By telling them to refrain from any communication with strangers is essentially creating a big gap in the safety net when they encounter ill-intentioned individuals.
For example, if your daughter senses that she has been stalked, you would want her to feel comfortable seeking help from passers-by. If you made a habit of drilling into her not to talk to strangers under any circumstances, she’s likely to go into panic-mode and feel helpless. Of course, the catch is that while it is okay to talk to strangers, your child should never go off with them. At the same time, tell your kids that should they feel uncomfortable with any stranger or they are asked to keep secrets, they should always report it to you. Assure them that you will not be angry to eliminate any fear of approaching you.
If it’s any comfort, we are living in much safer times compared to decades ago. It is important to maintain a balanced perspective on the dangers of the world. While there are child predators out there, statistics have proven that more children die in car accidents than dying at the hands of murderers. As Lenore Skenazy has put it aptly, all the fear in the world doesn’t prevent death, it prevents life.
The bill was incepted when Amy Carns’s ex-husband was convicted for sex crimes against a minor and she wanted to protect her daughter. However, a call to the Child Protective Services proved futile as there were no laws to abolish parental custody of sex-offenders. Amy then approached her State Legislature and met Senator Hopgood, where they drafted the Children’s Protection Act which has now garnered bipartisan support. Read Dave Herndon’s article for more information
The extensive news coverage of the tragic deaths of Autumn Pasquale and Jessica Ridgeway is enough to send parents into paranoia, but don’t let this be a reason to stop your children from going outdoors. In fact, we are living in a much safer time compared to the olden days and you can teach your children safety rules, of which the most important is about talking to strangers, as Lenore Skenazy discusses in her article.