Not The Halloween I’m Used To

New fear for trick-or-treaters
New fear for trick-or-treaters

It has to be the second most celebrated day by children next to Christmas.  Every year on October 31, millions of children around the country and the world go out at night to various houses dressed as ghost, goblins, ghouls, or anything that would get a rise out of people.  Their goal, to obtain candy and other goodies.  Naturally you’re not going to find too many children who dread the coming of Halloween.  But in recent years there has been a new and genuine reason to give children fright.  It’s the ever growing threat of paroled registered sexual offenders that lurk nearly every American city.

Years ago, prior to the 1990s, trick-or-treating on Halloween was harmless and any and everyone was free have their house visited by dozens of children.  Of course there were the viable threats of poisoned candy, candy treated with razors, and bully’s taking candy.  The threat of bad people out there in the night looking to grab children was real, but it was real every other day too.  In recent years the American public began to realize that there were people actively out to get children.  These people are sexual predators and we didn’t realize how big of a problem they were until just a few years ago.  According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, prior to 1994 few states required convicted sex offenders to register their addresses with local law enforcement.  Recognition of the severity of the problem grew and the laws became more prominent.  So now when there is the potential for more children to be out at night, there a higher risk, and more of a reason to be vigilant. 

Sex offenders are facing bans from Halloween activities in areas around the nation.  In Anderson, South Carolina they are gathering them all in one location until to be released later in the evening.  California agents will be going door to door to sex offenders to make sure they’re lock up inside in dark houses with no decorations just so they cannot incite any contact with trick o’ treaters.  Not to mention the 5pm to 5am curfew.  Texas offenders will be given citations and perhaps get their probation revoked if rules are violated.  Sex Offenders in Maryland need “no candy” signs.  These are just a few things activities law enforcement agencies are doing to make sure children are safe from sex offenders.

Not for nothin’, but it’s better safe than sorry.  Even though there’s little to no cases of sex offenders attacking children while trick-or-treating, you’d never want there to be either.  It’s unfortunate that there are these types of predators out there, but it’s fortunate that law enforcement have measures in place that will help keep their behavior at bay during a risky time for children and them.

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