Child sexual predators often place themselves in areas where they have easy access to children. This is one reason why teachers, babysitters, nannies, mothers, fathers, priests, and summer camp workers make excellent abusers. And while Florida has made great strides to protect children from predators in child-care centers, they are falling behind in one major area: summer camp. (1)
Recently, the Palm Beach Post probed and discovered that camps in Florida have no restrictions, therefore there are no boundaries placed on how the camps operate. (1) Abuse can happen and does happen, and nobody is there to prevent or stop it.
Florida’s regulation system centers on licensing, such as in day-care centers, where employees are checked. (1) However, camps are currently exempt from the same governance. (1) What this means is that anyone – and I mean anyone, whether sex offenders, criminals, or the incompetent – can come to work as a camp counselor. (1) Why is the government knowingly allowing for this to happen?
This is yet another example where lawmakers are failing children, our most valuable resource. As with the Omnibus Child Victims Act in New York, the legislature has been slow to respond to a public health crisis. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: when I was a child, I knew nothing about politics, but I knew that there was no one there to help me. Let’s keep the politics out of helping kids and get critical laws passed.
Every second the government fails to intervene, that’s another child or two or a hundred that is molested, raped, or killed. I was once that child, and I know how damaging sexual abuse can be. When will the government begin to see child sexual abuse prevention a priority, like they do the economy, education, and terrorism? (2) Preventing sexual violence against children is on all of us, children simply can’t speak up for themselves.