So who do you trust as a mother these days? Is Jimmy Savile proof you trust noone? The desire to protect your child is visceral, primeval and urgent. From the moment they are concieved you do your level best to protect them. When they are born, you feel you would kill for them. As they grow, you tell them to wash their hands to keep them from germs and infections. You teach them how to cross the roads to keep them from road accidents. You are distraught when a playground bully pushes them or teases them or calls them names. We protect them even from themselves when they sit too long infront of the XBox or the television.
But what happens when we cannot see them, when we aren't there to keep them from harm. When they go to school. When they take up sport. When they want to sing in a choir, join the scouts, overnight at a friend's house. How then do we protect them from the violators and the monsters - from the worst there is in the world?
How suspicious do we have to be? How vigilant? Are we surrounded by those from the dark side? Surely not - they are not the norm, they are the ugly and dangerous exception. Perverts need access to children. We know they go where children are. When we aren't there to stand by them with a broadsword and shield, our children's best defence is surely their knowledge. We don't diminish their innocence by packing up knowledge and tucking it neatly into their lunchbox. Information is their protection. Tell them there are bad men, there is inappropriate language and behaviour, that noone touches them, that noone should make them uncomfortable, that there are no secrets between a mother and a child.