Informational Brief: Halloween and Sexual Abuse Prevention: The Mythical 'Halloween Effect
Published on October 1, 2019, the ATSA statement "Halloween and Sexual Abuse Prevention: The Mythical 'Halloween Effect'" addresses a common misconception regarding child safety during Halloween. The document emphasizes that there is no significant increase in sexual crimes against children around Halloween, a notion often referred to as the 'Halloween Effect'. This claim is supported by research showing no change in the rate of sexual crimes by non-family members during this time, even after the implementation of laws restricting the activities of sex offenders during Halloween.
The statement points out that the real risks during Halloween include vandalism, property destruction, theft, assault, burglary, and notably, a higher likelihood of pedestrian/motor-vehicle accidents. It further notes that 93% of sexual assaults on children are committed by someone known to the child and family. ATSA criticizes policies that focus on 'stranger danger', arguing that they create a false sense of security and divert law enforcement resources from more prevalent dangers. The organization advocates for protection strategies based on facts and informed
Download : ATSAHalloween2019.pdf