By Sandy . . . Halloween is over for 2022. Little trick-or-treaters are recovering from sugar overload, and parents are recovering from little trick-or-treaters.
According to a search of all news sources and the internet, once again, no child was harmed/abducted/molested by a person on a sex offender registry during trick-or-treat. That is true in Illinois, the only state remaining in which Patch publishes their infamous “red-dot” maps. Thank you, Patch, in the other 49 states. That is true in Missouri where state laws create rigid restrictions that a registrant must follow, including the placement of a “warning” sign.
It is true in Florida and Tennessee and Wisconsin and Nevada and in the other eight, possibly more, states in which local sheriffs and state departments of correction took it upon themselves to make Facebook posts, create YouTube pieces, and give interviews to news media, all boasting about how they were “keeping children safe” and “protecting our most vulnerable.” These pieces imply the strongest possible connection between Halloween and people on sex offender registries, a totally invented connection.
It is also true that no child was harmed/abducted/molested by a person on a sex offender registry during trick-or-treat in New Mexico or Delaware or Maryland or Iowa. These and other states’ law enforcement officers apparently made no announcements indicating they would spend hours if not days checking on their registrants so they could be sure “children were safe at Halloween.”
In contrast, the East Hampton, New York Police Dept. engaged in “intensified” monitoring of registrants all weekend and on Halloween. Tennessee yearly stages an elaborate “Operation Blackout” targeting registered persons, and Florida’s counties appear to be in competition with each other as to which has the strictest restrictions for registrants.
Except – whatever they were doing, they weren’t protecting or keeping safe because there was nothing to keep safe and protect from. Empirical evidence shows that: 1) There is no connection between sexual crime and Halloween. 2) There is no connection between Halloween and people on sex offender registries. 3) There is no increased risk of sexual harm to trick-or-treating children from people on registries. Furthermore, extensive searches and examination of law enforcement records reveal no instance of a child being abducted/molested/harmed by a registrant during trick-or-treat or any other Halloween activity.
Why does this matter?
It matters because what some law enforcement is doing is misdirection, and instead of helping kids, it hurts them. Misdirection says to them, “This is who you should fear – the stranger, the “other.” The reality is that over 90% of molested children are victims of those in their lives that they know and trust. This misdirection impacts on a secondary level also: if they are ever in a situation where they need to ask help from an adult they don’t know, i.e., a stranger, they will be less likely to. They have been taught to fear strangers.
Misdirection doesn’t teach the truth, and to protect children as much as possible, we need truth, not lies, myths, or misinformation.
Were any children harmed or injured Halloween evening? Oh yes.
A child was seriously injured in a hit and run in New Jersey along with the adult who was with him. There is no more information available at this time.
In Ohio, a truck mowed down a three-year-old, killing him, and injuring his mother walking beside him; they are both reported as being in Halloween costumes.
A drive by shooter in Chicago firing indiscriminately into a crowd of people shot 14, including three children; some are in critical condition. While the group of people does not appear to be connected with Halloween, that cannot be said of the shooter as he has not, at this point, been apprehended.
We have always known that children were at many times greater risk of injury by automobile on Halloween than of sexual assault; we must now add injury by guns.
There is movement surrounding this issue that seems to be in the right direction. Patch’s almost universal removal of its “Halloween Safety Map” is a good example. Another is law enforcement starting to admit they have no reports of sexual crime against children on Halloween.
“While instances of sexual abuse or abductions have not been prevalent on Halloween night in California during . . . almost three decades, we still want to offer some traditional safety tips if you plan to go out with your family,” the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says.
One of the best indicators is that factual and helpful Halloween safety articles are appearing in place of the fear-mongering ones. This piece from Dubois County, Indiana, is an excellent example.
Progress is possible.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.
14 Thoughts to “Law enforcement in at least12 states mislead parents about risk of harm to children”
Top cops are misleading? Nah never happens.
I had no police come by my house as I am allowed to give out candy, but I choose not to. However, no one on my street left their house thanks to our Babysitters, Nextdoor spreading the boogeyman lies. Although I cannot access the site, my neighbor gives me the low down.
My son is on the registry. He lives with my sister and her partner. This Halloween was so frigging stressful for us. For what? He never has and never would molest a child, regardless of his charges and ultimate acceptance of a plea deal worked out by his lazy attorney who essentially did nothing for almost 3 years and 15000 bucks. Halloween made him feel like he’s a psychopathic monster. This whole thing has been a life destroying nightmare. Children saved=zero.
Many in law enforcement can justify their salaries by misleading the public. That they could be destroying individuals and their families is the least of their worries.
Law enforcement officials like to wave their flags of crime prevention. Whereas in reality, they are a “After the fact entity.” Meaning quite simply they seek money constantly to Prevent Crime. This is just another way for them to show how well they can protect us all. All a sham, and in turn they will seek funding from those who feel they are being protect. Fear sells.
Not entirely true for New Mexico, one County did broadcast a harassment effort, but it never caught on and took off with other agencies and widespread media. Possibly due to years of heavy education here of the truth. But, it does make you wonder as the Fire Department locally came the media on to preach safety to parents and focused on;
1. Candles in the home
2. Kids tripping over costumes
I was stunned. The greatest threat to children on Halloween is motor vehicle accidents! That should be the PSA! Even when they drop the Registered Family Hoax they still cannot focus on the big safety issue.
TN has a bill in the legislature that will, if moved out of committee, will codify into law the same draconian 11-day 6 pm-6am curfew during “Halloween season” that only those under state supervision had been subjected to in the past. For the last 2 years there has been no curfew. The curfew starts around Oct 21 and ends at 6 am Nov. 1st.
This is not surprising at all.
How is that not punishment? It’s akin to house arrest. For 11 days? Why don’t they just make it 2 solid months kr blanket the entire year? How on earth do they find that at all for public safety?
But if it saves one trick or treater…
Sales pitch for more money now that legislative seasons are coming at the first of the year in many states.
Oh no your saying elected officials lie. What a shocker. Every politician and media company makes every person on the registry out to be the worst of the worst.
While law enforcement is so busy keeping track of registrants on Halloween the bars are packed with drunks, most of them who will be driving. I read an article saying Halloween is one of the worst holidays for traffic deaths, half of them caused by drunk drivers. If the police put as much effort into going after drunk drivers as they do registrants a lot of lives could be saved.
All was well in SE WI; as a registrant, I went trick or treating with my toddler and my oldest teen passed out candy when we got home, and no one skipped my house. Ultra conservative town of 5k people. Everyone was nice, all smiles, good times. Put decorations up, neighbors called us over to compare my kids costumes with theirs, normal stuff.
I’m sorry it cannot be that way for everyone, but there are at least pockets of society where no one actually cares about your past. We need to have those pockets turn into… well, everywhere.
New York Here:
They did this nonsense a few years ago. Where I was located at the time they had the Sheriffs, Department of Corrections, regular local police and US Marshals along with the press to go all out in protecting the children at Halloween by conducting raids at RSO homes. While all the police were busy hamming it up for the cameras, a Halloween party was going on.
The results – 2 people were shot to death and many others injured. There was a parolee there who was not a RSO but outside past his curfew, who tried to hide evidence of the crime. This incident was due to the lack of police around as they were patrolling in areas that RSO resided who were on parole.
The Washington Post states that Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for children due to being hit by cars.
Some places the candy is spiked, kids get robbed ad assaulted by others. Kids actually steal (see many of the webcams during halloween), destroy property and do other destructive things(not everywhere). Regulars robberies and violent crimes go up because people are wearing mask, but we must make sure that those RSO stay put as they cannot control themselves.(like vampires or werewolves).
To me a waste of money and time.