Originally Posted by theatermom
I believe that violent/stranger related crime has actually decreased overall since the 1970's, but that our perception of the danger has increased tenfold (there are stats on this somewhere). The real dangers come from more vehicles on the road, and the fact that drivers seriously don't watch where they're going.
I'm personally about 1000X more paranoid about cars than I've ever been about strangers...
DD got out a year or so ago. We'd let her out to play on our patio (completely surrounded by a fence about 6 ft. high), and she was being very quiet. It turned out that when ds1 and his friend had gone out, they hadn't closed the gate behind them, and dd had slipped out to find them. It was just starting to get dark and I freaked. I was worried about the river near our place, and about the two busy roads that are very close to us...strangers barely crossed my mind.
I found ds1 and sent him to check on area while dh and I were going in two other directions. I figured I'd check by the river, then come back and call the police if she hadn't been found. As I was coming back, I heard ds1 yell, "I've got her, mom". He caught up with me and told me that "two older men" had brought her to him.
And, this is where the media comes in. My first thought was "I'm so lucky those men weren't creeps" - and then I really thought about it. We weren't lucky. Lucky is when you beat the odds
in a good way. Unlucky is when you beat the odds in a bad way. The vast majority of people out there, on finding a 3 year old wandering around, wouldn't want to hurt the child - they'd want to help her/him find her/his parents. We weren't "lucky" that these two men were decent people...we simply weren't so unlucky as to have a pervert find her. The odds were that if someone found her, it was going to be a decent person. Even though I try to resist it, there really is a media-created tendency to believe that every other person on the street is a dangerous pedophile, just waiting to leap on our children...and it's just not true.
I'm awfully glad she didn't wander into the street or the river, though...