hi, ROE -

male survivor here.

you may think you are being paranoid - but better that than the alternative. i wish my parents had been more vigilant. mom closed her eyes to what step-dad was up to. both were blind to what was happening to me at school and scouts. i got all the "strangers with candy" warnings - for all the good that did. it was "friends" and family i needed to be protected from and warned about.

when i had kids (1 boy, 2 girls), we were VERY cautious and selective of where they went and with whom. We limited sleep-overs to families that we knew extremely well and only when there were lots of kids there - not just our kid as the only guest. when my son joined cub scouts, i joined too and always knew what was going on. i may have been hyper-vigilant - but we kept them safe. we gave them the warnings - but not just candy from strangers - more the "no one is to touch your body in the areas where it would be covered by a swim suit" kind - as well as what to do and who to tell and so on. even did some "what would you do if..." scenarios. the fine line is to prepare your kids without making THEM paranoid.

we recently received an email telling us that there had been a pedophile caught in the small town where we used to live. he had been at it for 20 years and they knew of kids from age 7 to 17 who had been molested by him. we were encouraged to ask our kids if they knew of any victims or had ever encountered him. thankfully, all 3 said no. he would not have been suspected from any outward appearance. you can't be too careful.

hope some of that helps.
"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"