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Fear and Paranoia

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Fear and Paranoia

Post by Olive_Boyle on 24.11.12 16:59

I have an 8 year old daughter. She has a little gang of friends. They are allowed to play out the front in the summer. I might let her play out for half an hour after school at this time of the year if its not raining.

Anyway my daughters best friends Dad knocked at my door a couple of days ago and tells me not to let her out of my sight for the slightest second.

Apparently there is a gang going round in a white van abducting young children and raping them in the back of the van. His wife read so on the Internet. Oh really, I say, that is terrible.

I go back in and do some googling. Well I find nothing on the news sites or anywhere on the net that even vaguely hints at this.

I am sick of being made to feel terrified to let my child develop in a natural way, grow, gain confidence with her peers and spread her wings because of this paranoia. Created by who knows who. The media? The Government? Paranoid individuals.

I was allowed to play out from about the age of 7. Not one bad thing happened to me by some stranger lurking round the corner. Nor to any of my friends. Nor to anyone that I know. Maybe I am extremely luck, but I reckon that this is the norm. Bad things actually rarely happen.

So to the paranoid people of this society sod off the lot of you!

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Re: Fear and Paranoia

Post by Ribisl on 24.11.12 18:43

I agree about the negative influence of tabloid media and their ability to manipulate the trends in public opinion. They habitually try to boost readership and revenue by sensationalising many events and hyping up our latent fears, rousing paranoid mentality. I can also understand your desire for your child to be able to play outside without any fear. I have often taken chances in my life to the point of being reckless at times (and still do), so in fact I very much share your optimism in this regard.

But we mustn't put everyone who veers towards caution in the same basket as those who behave irrationally simply because of what they've read or heard. For example, recently in our neighbourhood there have been frequent incidents of robbery as a result of hardships suffered by those who can't find work to support themselves. I wish I could leave our backdoor open so our neighbours would feel free to pop in, but the times have changed and right now it would be foolish for us not to doublelock our doors.

I obviously don't know what this father of your daughter's best friend is like, but please don't dismiss his concern as mere paranoia before checking with police. Your child's life is too precious.

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There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies... Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Re: Fear and Paranoia

Post by Angelique on 24.11.12 22:38

I must say that I would be slightly worried had this happened to me about my child. I would certainly have made enquiries from the local Community Police.

Sadly I have to say if I left a piece of wood out on my drive it would have disappeared in a few hours. Anything not nailed down disappears. I agree one shouldn't get paranoid but one should take precautions with children.

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Re: Fear and Paranoia

Post by Olympicana_Reloaded on 06.01.13 3:16

Gallagher, Bernard (2008) Fear of the unknown. Safer Communities: a journal of practice, opinion, policy and research, 7 (3). pp. 22-25. ISSN 1757-8043

Extract

While there is considerable public concern over stranger-perpetrated child sexual abuse (CSA) and abduction, much of the professional debate over this subject is characterised by quite polarised views and a dearth of reliable research-based knowledge. In order to start addressing this situation, a major questionnaire survey was carried out among almost 2,500 children aged 9-16 years in 26 primary and secondary schools in four types of area in North-West England. Children were asked about their experiences of attempted and completed stranger CSA and abduction “away from home”. Approximately 7% of children reported an attempted or completed incident. These were of four main types: indecent exposure, touching and abduction - each occurring on their own - or some combination of these acts. In terms of its broader messages, the research suggests that we should adopt a more balanced approach in our assessments of the seriousness of stranger CSA and abduction. The research also indicates that stranger CSA and abduction are complex phenomena, and prevailing stereotypes have only a limited value. The research highlights practice issues for child safety educators, the police, and therapists and counsellors, relating to prevention, disclosure, reporting and re-victimisation.

Improving knowledge

Given the levels of public concern and controversy that surround stranger CSA and abduction, but above all the terrible cases that do occur - such as those of Madeleine McCann, Sarah Payne and James Bulger - it is remarkable that there is so little research on this subject. Much of the responsibility for this rests with my fellow academics, many of whom dismiss stranger danger as a social construct - or, in layperson’s terms, a figment of society’s imagination. This research suggests that we should not be frightened of strangers but should be mindful of the risk that they can sometimes pose to children. The ‘unknown’ we should perhaps fear, is that represented by our profound lack of knowledge of stranger CSA and abduction - a lack of knowledge that has undoubtedly undermined efforts to prevent and improve the response to these dangers.

http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/6580/

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Re: Fear and Paranoia

Post by Olympicana_Reloaded on 06.01.13 21:39

Loughborough University Institutional Repository

Title: Parenting and childhood in a culture of fear

Authors: Franklin, Leanne

Abstract: This thesis draws primarily upon the work of Furedi (2001; 2002) and his notion of a culture of fear to explore contemporary parenting and childhood from a social psychological perspective. Furedi argues that contemporary society is dominated by a sense of anxiety which is ubiquitous and free-floating (2007) and it is arguable that this fear is particularly easily attached to issues around childhood as children are considered increasingly vulnerable - giving rise to the phenomenon of paranoid parents (Furedi, 2002). While these and related issues have been explored elsewhere in the social sciences (e.g. Jackson & Scott, 2000; Katz, 2008; Valentine, 1996) there has yet to be a study from a social psychological perspective which would seek to understand how these fears are articulated, constructed and managed in relational interaction. The first stage of analysis is a content analysis of newspaper articles, providing partial information about the socio-cultural backdrop of the study. This is complemented by focus group data from both parents and children (aged 12-13) which is analysed using strategies and tools drawn from discursive psychology (Edwards & Potter, 1992). This approach allows for an examination of how participants construct fears, anxieties and concerns that exist in and around modern parenting and childhood. Themes that emerged from this analysis include a focus on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a fear of hypothetical dangers, and a catalogue of potential risks. These concerns are also worked up in the participants talk as related to wider social changes (such as an increase in crime and changes in family structure) and connected with a nostalgia for a past which is constructed as safer, simpler and more liberated; even the children display a fondness for this utopian childhood. Hence the study begins to develop an empirical understanding of how aspects of a culture of fear may be worked up in relation to contemporary parenting and childhood, and so points toward some of its possible psychological implications.

https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/8520

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Re: Fear and Paranoia

Post by Olympicana_Reloaded on 23.05.13 15:31

CHILD ABDUCTION REPORT REVEALS NEED FOR A REVAMPED ‘STRANGER-DANGER’ ALERT

Nearly half of all child abduction cases reported in the UK between 2011-12 were committed by strangers, according to police figures published in a unique report today.

‘Taken – a study of child abductions in the UK’ brings together, for the first time, academic expertise and a sample of police data to provide a snapshot of the extent of child abductions in the UK.

http://www.ceop.police.uk/Media-Centre/Press-releases/2013/CHILD-ABDUCTION-REPORT-REVEALS-NEED-FOR-A-REVAMPED-STRANGER-DANGER-ALERT

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Re: Fear and Paranoia

Post by plebgate on 23.05.13 15:46

@Olive_Boyle wrote:I have an 8 year old daughter. She has a little gang of friends. They are allowed to play out the front in the summer. I might let her play out for half an hour after school at this time of the year if its not raining.

Anyway my daughters best friends Dad knocked at my door a couple of days ago and tells me not to let her out of my sight for the slightest second.

Apparently there is a gang going round in a white van abducting young children and raping them in the back of the van. His wife read so on the Internet. Oh really, I say, that is terrible.

I go back in and do some googling. Well I find nothing on the news sites or anywhere on the net that even vaguely hints at this.

I am sick of being made to feel terrified to let my child develop in a natural way, grow, gain confidence with her peers and spread her wings because of this paranoia. Created by who knows who. The media? The Government? Paranoid individuals.

I was allowed to play out from about the age of 7. Not one bad thing happened to me by some stranger lurking round the corner. Nor to any of my friends. Nor to anyone that I know. Maybe I am extremely luck, but I reckon that this is the norm. Bad things actually rarely happen.

So to the paranoid people of this society sod off the lot of you!


Judging by the number of cases of paedophilia we are hearing about recently, I think Ribisl and Angelique are right. always pays to be cautious with your children.

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