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What You Don’t Know About Sex Offenders . . .
But Should


The “Stranger Danger” Myth
In 93% of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows the person who commits the abuse. Only 7% are strangers and as many as 47% are family or extended family. 95% of new sex offenses are committed by someone NOT already on a sex offender registry. Registered sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rates when compared to domestic violence, battery, drug offenses, theft, robbery, DUI, and assault. The only crime with a lower recidivism rate is murder. Sex offenders date, get married, and have families who depend on them. Every law that is passed also impacts those families, especially their children.

Residency Restrictions Discounted as a Means for Public Safety



Family members of registered sex offenders (RSOs) are the often-overlooked victims of collateral damage. Increasingly restrictive policies expose RSOs and their families to public scrutiny and place severe limits on RSOs’ employment, housing, and academic opportunities. These policies were designed to protect the public from sexually dangerous individuals, but the collateral consequences of the laws to others were presumably unanticipated. Studies conducted have not shown any correlation between sex offender recidivism and living near schools or parks. However, there is ample scientific evidence that shows residency laws do interfere with the reintegration of sex offenders into society.



Romeo & Juliet Laws . . . What They Mean for Our Teens

PictureYou Say “Boyfriend” – Some States Say “Child Molester”

An older teen who has sex or inappropriate contact with his/her younger girlfriend/boyfriend can be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for the act. Even worse, he/she may carry the stigma of being labeled a sex offender for 10 years to life. Often, teenage couples engage in consensual sexual conduct as part of an intimate relationship. This may start to occur before either participant has reached the age of consent, or after one has but the other has not. In such cases, the older of the two participants is technically guilty of statutory rape (or criminal sexual assault). Most jurisdictions consider the act itself to be prima facie evidence of guilt, as any consent between partners, even if freely given, does not meet the standard of law as it is given by a minor. The accused in these cases normally have no defense.