[Ansteorra] Bad things

Kenneth Smith ulfarnfinnson at yahoo.com
Tue May 15 14:14:29 PDT 2007

Kind Ian you might have ruffled a few feathers mine included but I do not mind.  To create a dialog is a good thing.  I just have a couple of things and then I will let this go.  
  What you seem to want is to correct Society in general and boy that is a big thing to tackle.  I would bet that there are a lot of pedophiles right now who would pass a background check.  As well as even under the most diligent watch it still happens.  Now I have my own personal thought on what society should do with these kind of person and I would imagine that we are the same ground here.  But were talking about the SCA.  The SCA I would have imagined has been sued in the past and will be in the future for various reasons.  I would also agree with you that we should do what is necessary but we should not punish the innocent. We have a set of rules in place and I am okay with them.  But to say to loose a parent and child who plays in exchange for no more of these case to happen would be worth it I would disagree.  Let me clarify.  If you were the parent being forced out of something you love to do because of persons over reacting and making it impossible for you to play
 any more I would dare say that it is not worth it to them (putting one innocent person in jail or to death would not be okay with that person, maybe society as a whole but it would still suck for that person).  I would gladly leave the SCA today if this would stop these kind of attacks but unfortunately it would not, that is just how society is.  Is it wrong you bet.  Should they be punish oh most definitely and hopefully the law gets to them first.   I would also say that if you make it so strick to play you would not be loosing one family but a whole lot more as well as any new members that might be interested.  
  Now there has been several things talked about among everyone else and I would say that most of the suggestions that have come out are most excellent but one thing.  I would say that those ideas that have come out in several post is just good parenting and something a parent should do to ensure that safety of their children.  I prey that all innocent can be spared these types of crimes and all tragedies but unfortunately it can not happen.  The world is not always a nice place.  But we can not always look at the negative. I will stop here for this will get very philosophical quickly now and I do not want to drag this on any further.  The SCA has made me a better person, is something I love to do and will continue with.
  Ulf Arnfinnson 
Ian Dun Gillan <ian1550 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
  Thanks to Ulf, Adena, and all those you replied to me, I hope I did not 
ruffle to many feathers I am trying to generate some ideas for ways to stop 
these kind of predatory actions at SCA events. I do not want to seem like I 
am trying to tell anyone how to raise their child, or that I am any kind of 
expert in legal matters or child rearing. What I am is a long time member of 
this Society, who does not want to see the quality of the game we play 
injured by legal battles that cripple the corporate structure and generate a 
set of rules that discourages minors from participating in what we do. In my 
years in the SCA I have served as a Constable, a Hospitaller, a Seneschal, 
and a Regional Seneschal. I am also the uncle of eleven children, I have 
spent my share of time helping to raise children, I know that does not make 
me any kind of expert but I do have opinions that are based on my experience 
in helping care for those eleven. I have personally seen, in my 20 plus 
years in the SCA, 5 reported cases that were either attempts of child 
molestation, statutory rape, or child abandonment (leaving a minor on site 
alone), all of these were with in the Kingdom of Ansteorra, I am sure if you 
check the Seneschals files for the Kingdom that you will find many more 
reports of that nature. If you think about that then multiply that by the 
number of Kingdoms, and the years the SCA has been around, the potential for 
some startling statistics exist. To give you some examples; in one case a 
mother was right there with in twenty feet of her young child and turned her 
back for only a few minutes when a man propositioned the child with money to 
see her naked. In another case an under age girl disappeared from her camp 
at an event to be found in a parked car in the parking lot in the company of 
a male, the teen had gone there of her own free will, but she was still 
several years under the age of consent. That teen had been left alone in her 
own camp at night with out adult supervision. In another case a parent came 
to gate at an event then said they had to run back to the house to get 
something leaving her child at the event for nearly four hours with no 
signed waiver and no legally responsible adult. All of these cases happened 
in the Northern Region of Ansteorra at SCA events.

I do not want to seem like I am raving. I simply see a great opportunity to 
use what has happened in the East as a catalyst to make some positive 
changes in how we enforce our rules involving minors. We should strike while 
the iron is hot but we should not be rash in any decision. In my opinion 
complacency is the greatest weapon these predators have. That is complacency 
of parents, and of society. This thread is serving as a method for us to 
discuss the options and look at possibilities. I feel that each and every 
case of child abuse and molestation should have never happened, but what can 
we do to stop them? There is no level of vigilance and no rules, no matter 
what that we can pass that will stop these kind actions occurring in the SCA 
if they are not strictly enforced. Each and every person in the SCA needs to 
step up and own the responsibility of protecting the children, whether it is 
as a parent or another who submits to a background check and then helps out 
with MOC activities.

I do realize that there are currently rules in place such as waivers, and 
the two deep rules, but how strictly are those rules being enforced. We need 
to step up the enforcement of rules involving minors. Again these are only 
my personal opinions and are meant only to spark dialog that hopefully ends 
with some positive resolution. The non-parental notarized waiver should be 
present any time a child is left with a friend or family member who is not 
the parent or legal guardian, even if it is at a practice or a meeting, even 
if you leave them in a persons care for five minutes. Parents can carry such 
forms with them in case it is needed. Not allowing a minor to be dropped off 
at any practice or meeting with out a parent or legal guardian or a 
responsible adult with such a waiver needs to be mandatory. Requiring at 
least one parent to take part in Children's activities at the MOC area 
should be mandatory. Having more people step forward to volunteer at 
children's activities at events would likely help. Making any who work with 
children pass a background check. There are so many things that can be done 
to help guarantee the safety of our children they just need to be enforced. 
If we are serious about stopping these kind of predatory activities at SCA 
functions then let's be serious about it. I am sorry to say so but if it 
came down to loosing a player who was a parent in the SCA over having to 
deal with one more case involving child molestation then shouldn't we be 
willing to pay that price.



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