Let’s get real folks! Ariel Castro (Ohio), Jerry Sandusky (PA) and many others we hear and read about were not on any public registry and that is exactly the point. The public has been groomed to believe all they have to do is check a registry and be aware of “those on it” and their family will be safe. The truth of the matter is that according to credible studies the recidivism rate for another “sexual” offense is 3.5 percent and those who are beginning to educate families are advising the other 93-95 percent of sexual offenses come from within the victim’s family, friends and those having access to the children and those never get reported.
There are over 774,600 men, women and children (as young as 6, 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the “crimes” range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive or suggestive images of anyone 18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child and many others.
If you multiply the number on the registry by two or three family members you can clearly see there are well over three million wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant….all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals state are needed for successful re-integration; a job, a place to live, and a good support system.
Education is the key. We need to set up Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training programs to empower kids and teens to protect themselves as much as possible and to speak up if someone makes them uncomfortable or oversteps their bounds. Programs like radKIDs and others are great tools. Parents cannot be everywhere.
Residency restrictions push former offenders away from the supervision, treatment, stability, and supportive networks they may need to build and maintain successful, law-abiding lives. As one Iowa sheriff said, “We are less safe as a community now than we were before the residency restrictions.”
Throughout the United States, courts have found residency laws unconstitutional because they are punitive or against the Ex Post Facto laws.
Many child safety and rape prevention advocates would like to see more money spent on prevention, education, and awareness programs for children and adults, counseling for victims of sexual violence, and programs that facilitate treatment and the transition back to society for convicted sex offenders.