Trigger warning for rape victims.
I dreamed last night I was in another waiting room, gathered up my stuff when my name was called, and as I was incidentally walking by Charlie Sheen, stolidly not looking his direction in my own dark glasses, he called out "Good luck!" and I just said "Corey Haim, dude" and kept walking.
I am neither shocked nor surprised. Ever since my first marriage, nothing about sex with kids of ANY age shocks or surprises me any more. I'm educated in the social sciences, I've seen the statistics, I've met quite a surprising number of people with stories to tell, and all I can say is it's all around us all the time. It's not new, it's not over there, and it's not rare.
YOU know someone who does kids (and even babies). YOU know someone with secrets that would make you throw up. You shake hands with them, work with them, pass them on a street, maybe even live with them, and even though all the signs are there, you don't notice, not because you're dumb, but because you're that innocent.
Sex with kids is rampant in the U.S. It's not just in other countries, it's not just in bad neighborhoods, it's not just around people who do drugs. It's in your church, your school system, your area of employment, your hobby group. Someone you know, maybe more than one, is an untagged child sex offender. They might be the most stand-up person you know, and yes, you would be quite shocked. Being a saint in public is the perfect cover.
Open your eyes. When kids do something weird, say something off the wall, get quiet, get too rowdy- keep your eyes open. Pay attention. Stop brushing off weird and simply just pay attention. It might take a few days, weeks, months, but there will come a day that will curl your hair and make your stomach drop out your shoes, because you'll suddenly be aware there is a child who knows way too much and is so careful it's scary. Or maybe there's a kid who is way too young to be flirting like that. Something.
All around you.