Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

How can we ever be sure for our children?

At what point can we say we know someone? After a month? A year? A decade? Ever?

This is my fear as a single mother. The devastating events surrounding little April Jones, abducted from her small town in Wales, only reinforces my fear for my children.

I think it is natural to want a partner/husband/wife to share our lives with, but in this day and age it's a terrifying prospect to allow someone new into your life and the lives of your children.

Many would argue that you can't live your life like that; you cannot allow a minority of bad people to cloud your judgment and assume everyone is capable of such horrendous acts.

The problem is: how can we know? How can we be sure that this new man (or woman) we have brought into our homes isn't a paedophile, or murderer?

Even people we think we know well, maybe even love, can, beneath the surface, be someone completely different altogether. This is what terrifies me.

What is the answer? Never date? Never allow anyone into your life? Perhaps just rely on our own judgment?

Unfortunately, life is unpredictable; people are unpredictable. We live in an unsafe world.

Truth is, there is nothing we can do to prevent tragedy. All we can do is hope and pray that our judgment and instincts are right and allow ourselves and our children to enjoy the freedom we all deserve.

RACHEL JOHNSTON

By e-mail

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