Article: How old is old enough for a child to be alone in the city?

Discussion in 'Missing Archives' started by meggilyweggily, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    I thought this was an interesting and very balanced article worthy of discussion here:

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...one-in-the-city/2007/09/01/1188067438580.html

    Dr Simon Crisp, a Monash University clinical family psychologist, says that while sexual assaults and child abductions are no more numerous than 20 or 30 years ago, children appear to have fewer opportunities to explore the broader world with friends. "There is this perception that if a child is out by themselves in the street they are somehow 'at risk' purely because they are not with an adult and that the child's parents are somehow bereft in their responsibility to that child," Dr Crisp says.

    Speaking for myself, I grew up in a very rural area several hours away from any major cities. In fact, I was never in a major city by myself until I was almost 21 years old. But for the past three years (age 18 to 21) I have spent my weekend at my boyfriend's home in a midsized-to-large city (about 200,000 or so people, I think) and have often gone for walks in the middle of the night. I've been accosted before, but I have never been attacked or even felt unsafe.
     
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  3. Beyond Belief

    Beyond Belief New Member

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    At age 11 (1960) I was getting on a public bus riding to Camden, NJ, and shopping. By age 15 I was riding that same bus to Philadelphia and shopping. Even though both towns have very high crime rates, I think in the city shopping areas it is still safe to do that today.
    At nightime, I believe your at risk no matter where you are. Safety in numbers has been the rule for years.
     
  4. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    I don't believe there is a safe age for a child to be alone in a city, even grown women get abducted and sometimes in broad daylight. As a 17-year-old, walking home one afternoon from high school alone I was approached by a guy in a car claiming to be a photographer. He wanted to take pictures of me. Fortunately, I never let it progress beyond phone contact. There is a strong possibility the guy who approached me was the serial killer who has been in the news the last few months William Bradley!:eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  5. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    The question you have to ask though is this: do teenagers in the city by themselves get abducted because they're teenagers, or do they get abducted because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? I once read an article about a sixteen-year-old boy who got rather horribly mutilated by a wood chipper and they said minors shouldn't be allowed to use wood chippers and I thought, "But the accident was just an accident, it didn't have anything to do with his age." I think a lot of times it works out that way for crime victims.
     
  6. CaliKid

    CaliKid Former Member

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    The first real knowledge I ever had with an abducted child case was when Etan Patz went missing in New York in 1979. His mother watched him walk towards the bus stop, and a block from it he disappeared.

    I don't know if there are more pedophiles today then there used to be, but I believe the number of mentally ill criminals roaming around plays a big part in it. Many were locked up in mental institutions, but then the courts got involved and said it was illegal to warehouse them. It's the same old argument- more child abuse or just better communication?
     
  7. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching Active Member

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    In response to the question, "How old is old enough for a child to be alone in the city?"...I would have to say there is no safe or specific age. Maturity is always a factor. My nearest estimate would be 35-45 years of age!

    Seriously, there is more safety in numbers no matter where you are. Being alone in the city is not the best thing to do as a child of any age. The dangers are well known and things can happen to anyone, but a child alone would be a target, IMO.

    I disagree that it is only because we are now an instant news society and are simply hearing about these things more. Growing up, I know for a fact we didn't come across such issues as our children and grandchildren face today. Abductions did occur, but not in the numbers we have now.

    There was a time when we were actually much safer and we were allowed to have more freedom. We didn't lock our doors, we slept with the windows open at night, and never even thought of locking the cars! You always lock up your home and cars now even in the daytime.

    If you will notice while looking for UIDs and missing...before the 1970s...the numbers are considerably less. The majority of those who did go missing before then were exhibiting "at risk" behavior (hitchiking, partying, hooking, etc.) or were family abductions. Stranger abductions were few and far between.
     
  8. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    Again, I wonder just how much of this is really necessary and how much of it is paranoia as a result of heavy media coverage of crime. A case in point: to my knowledge, my parents have never locked their house. I am not sure a key even exists for the front door. And no one has ever robbed us as far as we know. And I've been driving for five and a half years and have NEVER locked my car and NEVER had anything taken out of it. One time I left it unlocked with the keys and some money on the front seat in a rather bad neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana and was gone for several hours and when I returned, the car was just as I'd left it.

    Being a student of history, I'm not at all convinced that there was ever much less crime than there is now. Another thing people get on about today are young people committing violent murders and how they didn't used to. But Jesse Pomeroy (age fourteen) and Mary Bell (age eleven), two very young budding serial killers (four deaths between them), operated in the 1870s and 1960s respectively. Pomeroy in particular was as vicious and depraved as they get. I like to bring him up as an example of how the Good Old Days weren't really that good.
     
  9. Mygirlsadie

    Mygirlsadie New Member

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    Hi CaliKid...wasnt the movie 'without a trace' based on Etan Patz? It was done back in the early 80's..



     
  10. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching Active Member

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    I welcome you to come to where I live (Great city in Mid-America!). If you feel so certain about safety in this day and age...leave your home unlocked, your cars unlocked, and see how long it will take you to become a victim here. (They drive around constantly to find such easy targets so the area of the city you reside in here doesn't matter.)

    There have always been serial killers. Few and far between tho.

    Nowadays, you don't have to search very far to find them. Look at whatever gang is operating out of your state and rest assured...they are there.

    Follow sexual predators long enough and you will see they are killing their victims more now than before to cover their crimes instead of risking the vic identifying them.

    It isn't just the reporting aspect. Crime IS more prevalent today.
     
  11. Jdee

    Jdee Sometimes I scream inside my head. I scream for th

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    Me too Cali... Etan still haunts me all these years later. I grew up in the big city and we thought nothing of roaming the streets during the day or at night. On halloween we roamed MILES and knocked on strangers doors! At 12 I had a jogger expose himself to me while I walked to the 7/11 for penny candy and around that same time I was almost abducted by a man in a white truck.
    Some kids get away and some don't. That is the tragedy ...big city and small.
     
  12. muse217

    muse217 New Member

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    As several people have remarked, there is safety in numbers. I don't like to tempt fate by flaunting my lack of fear - I'm a Jersey City girl - but at the same time, if I have to go somewhere at night alone, I make sure my husband knows what route I'm taking, and when to expect me home. Having a cell phone also helps relieve any anxiety I have about driving alone, day or night.

    Statistics can be bent and shaped to fit any argument. Four years ago, I was one of less than 500 people in the US to contract Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite... in Florida! I kind of hope that by beating those odds, I can someday win the lottery:)

    If I really think about "what's out there" I don't think I'd ever venture outside my door again. So, I take reasonable precautions and live by the motto, "Trust in God, but lock your car."
     

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