I wasn’t going to post about the recent small trend of arrests, six since March, for incidents involving sexual lewdness at Orlando area water parks. Mostly because there is really nothing the parks can do to prevent it and because all the parks seem to be taking appropriate action, such as additional training by the authorities, in response. But I am curious as to why this sudden increase in these reports.
The Orlando Sentinel spoke with some experts and they have a few ideas. Of course, the reality is people who commit sexual offenses against children are quite often mentally ill themselves. Water parks is a combination of ample targets and lack of parental supervision that may be too much to resist.
The economy could be a factor, too.
“It does occur to me that with 10 percent unemployment, a lot of adults have unstructured free time,” said Alan Grieco, a psychologist with Psychological Affiliates in Winter Park who also has worked with both offenders and victims. “With losing your job comes consequences to self esteem, and that stress could lead people [with the condition] to act out.”
So this is the one area where unemployment is driving people to Disney instead of away. Great.
So do you carve out your usual visit to a water park on your vacation? I think the answer to that is obviously no, it’s too hot to skip those water parks and pools. Six arrests out of millions of visitors is nothing to worry about. But you can practice closer parental supervision if you’re worried and be sure to notify the lifeguards if you spot anything suspicious while in the water. That’s it and have a great time.