Does a Grooming Ban Help or Hurt?

the idea comes from the UK, where groups want to be able to file what amounts to restraining orders preventing anyone who appears to be grooming a child from being around that child or any other before a crime has been committed. 

That all sounds well and good, and I’m all for finding ways to prevent abuse before it happens but I wonder about the chilling effect this will have on anyone, but especially men, who would simply avoid doing any volunteer work with children or interacting with children at all. I mean isn’t it bad enough that the article linked above even assumes we are talking about men being abusers? 

I can’t help but wonder what sort of effect having no adults to coach soccer teams, no male teachers, etc. will have on kids. Giving the public this tool to, basically convict an adult of child abuse without a crime having been committed, because of a suspicion of “grooming”, could be doing more harm than good if it’s not closely monitored. 

However, given our level of paranoia about even leaving pre-teenage children alone for 5 minutes, I can’t see this turning out well. 

How about, instead of taking paranoid steps to protect “vulnerable” children, we take more steps to not raise vulnerable children in the first place? 


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