Warning children of 'stranger danger' is not enough
The sentencing last week of an individual who viciously assaulted two young children has once again brought to the fore many parents' fear of "stranger danger": that someone could abduct and assault a vulnerable child.
However, the reality is that the majority of such offences are not carried out by a stranger but by someone who has already built up trust with a child or, indeed, in many cases with the whole family.
So warning children not to talk to strangers is simply not enough. Likewise, relying on garda vetting of the so-called "sex offenders' register", so that those who pose a risk will not have access to children, does not address the problem.