by Chris Haire
With the latest rash of reports on teacher-student sex scandals out there these days, it's not a shock to find a local news outlet running a report on child sexual abuse. And you know, it wouldn't be much of a shock to see a report on TV or in the paper on the subject, particularly if the piece is designed to keep parents abreast of the dangers and the warning signs, all the dos and don'ts when it comes to leaving your children all alone under solo adult supervision, whether it's with a family member, a close friend, or your friendly neighborhood Cub Scoutmaster. That's fine.
However, a segment yesterday on WCBD strikes me as a little odd. The report on the grooming process, the subtle way a sex predator gains the trust of a child, was likely well-intended and all, but not only does the report site a pretty startling statistic without sourcing it, the only interview subject to get face time is an employee of local non-profit Darkness to Light (While one could assume that only one person was interviewed for the segment, the D2L employee, I'm not going to assume that. It simply may not be correct.)
Surely, there are other folks in town to talk about, a doc at MUSC perhaps or a CofC prof or a cop or a social worker....If the statistics that WCBD mention are true that 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused and 1 in 6 boys, then there's a lot of people out there a reporter can talk to. (As for the source of the unsourced stats WCBD mentions, the apparent source just might be D2L itself; check out the results of this Google search).
In the end, what you have is a report that isn't so much about "grooming" and "child sexual abuse" as much as it is a PSA from D2K.
Now if I was a cynical bastard, which I'm not, I might suggest that the clip was in fact a warm up advertisement for D2K's annual Circle of Light Gala on Nov. 15, but I won't do that. At least not until we get a follow up.