If a parent left their child unattended in a park, and that child was kidnapped, are social services wrong for questioning their suitability as a parent/guardian? To say they should have done something different on their end to prevent the crime would be apportioning blame/responsibility to them. Obviously, they should be able to leave the child unattended without fearing a kidnapper abducting them, but they are not naive and know that they do not live in a world where this is the case. Consequently, the parent is expected to act in a way that mitigates the foreseeable risks associated with a child being left unattended, and failing to respond to these foreseeable risks is seen as a failing on their part. Is this victim blaming? Is it unacceptable? How should social services react?
Unless the kidnapping happened by random chance, it must mean the victim could have done something to alter the risk of becoming a victim. To what extent is knowing this but not acting on it a form of personal negligence?
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Last edited by saywhatm8; 19-01-2015 at 12:07.
- 19-01-2015 11:52
- 19-01-2015 18:33
Interesting argument. I would say it isn't victim blaming as such - they are not to blame for the child being kidnapped as that blame obviously lies with the perpetrator. But yes, I would argue that it is unacceptable to leave a young child in a situation like that because as a parent you have parental responsibility to protect the child.
There's no law to say at what age a child can be left unattended (at home), but it is an offence to leave a child unattended if it puts them at risk. That depends on how old the child is I think - at an age where a child has a sense of 'stranger danger', safety and knows what the rules are, where they can go, etc etc etc, I'd say it is reasonable and not negligent to leave that child unattended. For very young children that is obviously not the case.
- 19-01-2015 22:35
The victim of the crime here is the child that was kidnapped though. They are culpable for that crime via negligence.