Sex offenders: everyone has an opinion -- from my inbox

Our world: 7 out of 10 girls, 4 out of 10 boys are sexually abused by age 16. In North America, sexual abuse takes place in 1 out of 3 homes.

Introduction

Google Alert has been busy on my account the past few weeks. Every night it leaves me a report of each blog, forum, article or letter on the internet where my name has been bandied about.Why? Well, I am tracking response to my book, but lately, that activity has taken a back seat to the response to my recently published articles on sex offenders and the sex offender registry.

Never has a series of articles created as much interest, or as much correspondence.

It seemed to me, the emails, comments, snippets from blogs -- all of it was as much a part of the picture as anything researched and written. Join me as we take a look at some of the opinions expressed by my readers.

And yes, I know the third article isn't published yet. There have been a few developments that we're waiting out. Soon ... soon.

Law Enforcement

Correspondence from law enforcement from all over the country was both supportive and critical, with more of the former than the latter, surprisingly enough.

“We’ve made it very difficult for this population to find housing. It’s almost as if we’re purging the city of all registrants. RSO’s with permanent addresses are required to register annually but transients have to check in every 30 days and provide us with a general idea of where to find them. We see an increase in drug and alcohol use and petty crimes when they’re forced to the streets – hardly helpful. The situation is an absolute mess.” – Oregon.

“The problem of sexual abuse was swept under the rug nicely until we were required to report the facts on a public website. Only then did the management of sex offenders finally become a high priority unfortunately after the passing of several high profile murders committed by RSOs. There’s still room for continued improvement of the management of sex offenders which includes the tweaking or plugging of loopholes created by the flurry of SO legislation. Local ordinances and residential restrictions are simply annoying and basically detract from the real problem of sexual abuse.” – Florida.

“You’re right, Ms. Martin, when you state it is necessary to control the dangerous predatory sex offender, but that it is equally necessary to be careful who we brand with that label. That’s the problem. Current politics now mandate an ever widening scope of the RSO laws, which has so diluted the registry from its original intent – control of the dangerous predator – it is impossible for anyone to see the dangerous ones for the crowd.” – Michigan.

“You’d think that when offenders come in to register, there would be some kind of risk assessment, counseling, even just a few minutes of talk – there isn’t. Here in (name of city deleted, population 1.2 million) we have only five officers dedicated to the sexual assault unit – one sergeant, two detectives to investigate crimes and two code-compliance officers who staff the office where more than 100 people come to register every week. Instead of spending money trying to enforce residency requirements that evidence suggests don’t work, we should find a risk-assessment counselor for the police department.” -- California

Social Workers

Most social workers wrote offering confirmation on my statistical information, and offers of assistance, authored articles, anecdotal evidence and opinions.

“I read your article and found it well done and informative, although as you can see the issue is very complicated and it is difficult to even make sense of the laws and what they mean. I’m not sure I’ll have time for an interview but feel free to cite any of my articles.” -- Dr. Jill Levenson (see link to right.)

“Most of us in this field, like you, are more anxious to get help to the victims than we are to punish the offenders. Unfortunately, we now see fewer cases coming forward, fewer complaints made. Whereas once we were able to work with the family as a whole, work with both victim and offender in a healing process, particularly beneficial to the victim, that opportunity has become very rare. Imagine the effect on the victim when the family is destroyed, the offender, often a close family member is removed, demonized and pilloried in public. As if the abuse and the destruction of the family was not enough, the victim now hears the taunts on a daily basis at school, from friends, "Your dad's a sex offender." The victim is re-victimized many times over. We used to see a reasonable level of family reunification -- now we do not see as much. The family cannot deal with the effects of registration on top of all the other issues. Often, the surviving members of the family will move away, hoping to escape, but the result is removal of the support system of extended family, friends and the comfort of connections. I've often asked myself, is all this destruction worth what we gain -- but I've asked it quietly, not wanting to bring all this anger down on my own head. However, you've brought much of what I've privately thought out in the open.” – Julie Segal, MSW

‘Based on my forty years in child protection social work, I’d like to see a stepping back from this issue. I’d like to see priorities put into place. What is our first agenda? Protection for potential victims – then let’s put together a program that best ensures that. We should spend our resources on those most likely to present a danger. Secondly, we need to study the adverse effects of this registry on our society and they are vast. Though it is apparently in poor fashion to say so, not everyone on it deserves this punishment.” – Dr. Miriam Levine

“We only have so much money, and that money’s now gone to enforcing housing restrictions, and tracking devices. We’ve wiped out early prevention and education programs that we used to have 15 and 20 years ago where we taught kids about healthy touch and bad touch and how to report it. We’ve wiped out funding for mental-health services for families that are economically distressed, which is a factor that may lead someone to cross a boundary that they wouldn’t have crossed before. Ninety-plus percent of sex crimes committed each year are first-time offenses by people who aren’t already known to the police. It’s a statistic that turns public policy on its head—why put all the attention on the guys we already know about?” – B. Killeen, MSW

“There are agencies out there that have demonstrated that if you do a good public health, public awareness campaign, including a hotline for people who are afraid they might hurt a child… you can actually reduce the incidence of sexual assault in your community. Why wouldn’t we spend money on that? And instead, we’re busy spending how many millions of dollars registering and tracking many who are statistically just not going to do it again. And destroying so many families along the way.” -- Daniel Harvey, BSW

“I also agree we have sensationalized the idea of sex crimes in the media beyond any semblance of reality. Reality is difficult enough, and so is police work, without such a Hollywood image. As we are fast approaching a million registered names nationally, people may ask, “Have we really so many monsters in our midst?” You are very correct when you say yes, most of them are in our own homes. The true violent predatory pedophile is not so wide spread, and like you, like all of us, I would like to see a predators registry. One that could not possibly include the young man in his twenties in a dalliance with an underage girl – a crime so widespread we’d need a registry the size of New York City’s yellow pages to include them all. One that is differentiated from incest abuse crimes, at least until we can ascertain the underlying pathology. No, we need one devoted entirely to predators (Level three offenders in many states.) This way, we can all devote all our energies to watching and controlling them, without such dilution of our forces.” – Dr. Miriam Levine

90% (at least) of sexual abuse of our children is perpetrated by relatives, family members, extended family members and to a lesser degree, close family friend

 Strangers are responsible for 10% at most. According to many studies, 2% of child molesters molest children they dont know. 68% abuse children in the own immediate families, and 30% abuse children in their extended family or social circle.
Strangers are responsible for 10% at most. According to many studies, 2% of child molesters molest children they dont know. 68% abuse children in the own immediate families, and 30% abuse children in their extended family or social circle.

Victims

As always, victims of sex offenders continue to correspond with me as they have since I posted my first article on the subject of child sex abuse, years ago. The issues surround the sex offenders registry are no exception.

“No sex-offender registry or neighborhood watch could have kept a babysitter from molesting me when I was 6. He was maybe 16 or 17, the brother of our regular babysitter who filled in whenever his sister was busy. I don’t remember how many times it happened, but I know it was more than once. Years later, I found out that he molested my sister, who was 8, and my best friend, who lived across the street.

At some point I told my mom what happened, but I don’t know what words I used. At 6, “penis,” “vagina” and “sex” weren’t part of my vocabulary. Whatever I said, my mom didn’t believe me—at least that’s what she told me. Looking back, I think she knew I was telling the truth, but she just didn’t know how to respond. And then I simply forgot that it ever happened—until my first serious relationship in high school.... A year later I ended up in counseling for severe anxiety and depression. There was a box on a questionnaire asking if I’d ever been the victim of sexual abuse, and that opened the door.

A couple of weeks ago, I threw the babysitter’s name into a national sexual-offender registry. A match came up, but the photo was a guy from Texas who happened to have the same name. I doubt the babysitter went on to become a habitual child molester—statistics suggest that he didn’t. I think it was a case of a sexually confused teen who made a bad decision. All this hype and hoopla – what good does it do when most sex crimes are committed by names not on the list?” -- Kelly -- via forwarded email

“I followed this debate with interest, and somehow I felt like a child who was raped, lying in pain and agony on a bed in the hospital, listening to the adults talking over my head about laws broken and not broken by whom and not whom, sins committed by which party or not, and in the meantime I am dying. I need to point this out – the tendency of the people in power (or those who have the power to make a difference) to launch on the judicial and academic aspects of a subject, and so they create a big distance between the hot core (cause) and the cold skin (effect). We see this daily in courts, churches and even in schools where rules are being disobeyed and offenders have to be judged and punished by a governing body. Somewhere between the cause and the effect victims as well as offenders find themselves in serious trouble, and the core remains a perfect breeding place for future victims and offenders. Lex asinus est. (The law is an ass.)” -- Martie See her article Sexual Abuse - a survivors memoirs

“Does anyone really think the victims give a rat’s ass about the law, or what society does in retribution? They say they’re doing it for the kids – and I say bull shit! These laws are about making society feel better about itself, so it can say – oh, we’ve done our best. There isn’t an ounce of evidence that suggests the registry has done anything to stop one single crime.

But it has destroyed a lot of lives and families – mine is one. When I was eleven, my mom died of breast cancer. My dad had a hard time with that. He lost his job and he used to drink a lot back then. He doesn’t now. He was abused by my Grandpa a lot – this I know because the old son of a bitch is still alive and my dad never would let me be alone around him. I was sexually 'abused' by my father for a short time when I was twelve. I told someone I thought I could trust, but that person told her mother, who called the police. And when Dad went to jail, he made it clear to the child welfare services I wasn’t to go to my grandparents and why. It’s hard for people to understand, but I love my Dad, and I know he loves me. I know he’s sorry. He came back from prison a broken man and the child services people wouldn’t let me live with him, thinking I should be better off with my fourth foster family. I am now eighteen and live with him because they can’t stop me. He’s my dad.

He will never hurt anyone. People print fliers with his picture on it and pass them around. We get threatening phone calls. Twice someone painted graffiti on our house. There’s a crazy lady who follows Dad around when he goes out, pointing at him shouting he’s a child molester and there’s nothing we can do to stop her, because the police treat Dad like he’s garbage and won’t give him the time of day let alone protect him. He can’t get steady work. He hardly goes out of the house. He’s waiting to die.

What was his real crime? Heart broken, depressed, sorry, lonely and drunk, he climbed into bed with me and caressed me. It happened twice. It wasn’t right, but it didn’t deserve what we both have to pay. If I can forgive him, what's it to you? None of your business if you ask me.” -- Jen via my website

The self-appointed activists, the crusaders and the vigilantes

What can we say about some of these people? A few, I do believe, are acting with the best of intentions, and for what they see as a betterment of society. One thing they all have in common is no matter what facts you pile up in front of them, they know better. The more you explain you are not supporting pedophiles, the more they ignore your words. As you try to reason that not all registered offenders are pedophiles … Well, here – have a read and judge for yourself.

“How can you support pedophiles? Here you are writing and saying they are unfairly treated by the system, as if anything could be too bad for these diseased, perverted individuals. What kind of a woman are you? Don’t you have kids of your own? You think it’s okay for grown adults to have sex with children, and we as a society shouldn’t do anything about it. Under the bridges is too good for them. Everyone on that list should do the world a favor and kill themselves. And you, too.” Email from momagainstperverts

"I’m sure you are a decent woman. I read your articles about your work with abused children and I thought, yes this woman must have a heart. Then I read now you worried about the offenders, so I got to ask what happened to you to make you do such a about face. Every one of these low lives represents some hurt little angel, and you worried about them? These laws are good. Used to be mothers take their little angels to the park and there’d be some weird guy looking at the kids. But the police couldn’t make them leave. Now they can. If just one child is saved from being hurt, who cares about possibly hurting the feelings of some lowlife child molesting man. You need to get your priorities straight, woman.” Email from str8talker

“The purpose of Megan's Law is to notify the public. Perhaps you prefer that the public sit in the dark and simply trust our government to keep our children safe. Regardless of how much information you prefer to have before you make an informed decision about your safety or how much information I feel I need to know before I decide to allow a man to befriend my children it is clearly outrageous to make a bold statement about the registry based on half truths and misinform the public. It appears you've been clouded by rhetoric. Your best bet would be to stick to the facts. Blurring half truths and misinformation is counterproductive in my opinion.” Comment from FLRSOinfo left on article.

“ … obvious that being less than hardlined on this issue has gotten us where we are today, the abused have grown up to be abusers, perhaps it would be your preference if society stepped back to the days when child sexual abuse was a dirty little secret and we threw our hands up. Well how well did that work out for us? I think there is a middle ground, I believe only when the truth is told, the protocol is exposed and the ineptness of the systems overseeing this problem is truly brought to light can people make well informed fair decisions, I read your hub and all I get is you think we should throw the "baby out with the bathwater" becuase its not fair to all involved. This issue is a domino where one aspect is directly dependant on another.. .Try living as one of the "in the trenches" real child advocates (without fancy credentials) who attempts to clean up their neighborhoods as you precious LE "sources" keeps dumping them in and hopes the neighbors don't notice or make noise about it so they don't have to do more paperwork. Try violating a violent offender who was dropped in your neighborhood again because the PO didn't check the "residency restrictions" before she gave the ok and the rent was doable. Try calling down police chief's in your city because they couldn't be bothered to notify the surrounding neighbors that a convicted Predator with a horrendous history just moved in (as they are required to do by law).Try understanding how a guy who served less than 2/3 of his original sentence for kidnapping and rape can be free to walk the streets and be "released from supervision" Try walking in those shoes for one lousy day when a person like myself has to position herself between the bad guys and the cops who resent you when you demand they enforce the most basic of Laws that have already been written with the Blood of our kids. Yea, my heart bleeds for your disturbing e-mails…” – comments left (and emailed) by valigator

“Signs, notifications and registrations are nice, but nothing beats a nice one-way trip to the gas chamber. I don't consider it a deterrent, but more of a way to get one more jerk off the streets.Sex offenders are the worst kind of murderers because they don't kill your body, they go straight for your innocence. Once that's gone you'll always be a little dead inside. People who do stuff like that should not be allowed to live in the same society as the rest of us. Their rights went away the second they started preying on others. So shove your injustice up your ### and if one or two innocent people get caught up in the gears, that’s just the price we have to pay to make our society safe.” – email from TexasLee

And one the other hand, activists working for the civil rights of offenders:

“I am very active with the legislature and in educating them as to the facts of research and the harm that residency restrictions cause. I have been doing this for 7 years. So it has been7 years of pretty much dedicating my life to grass roots effort to educate the public, media, and Legislators. Of fighting for effective laws to protect children and reduce the already low recidivism of registered sex offenders by giving them what the professionals say they need. It has been 7 years of listening to one devastating story after another as men who will never offend again try and try to make a life for themselves and their families only to fail in a system that is set up to ensure their failure. It was this session of our Legislature that showed me that nothing will change for the better in Florida without court cases. We must take these civil rights violations to the courts. The problem is, and our legislators know this and count on this, registered sex offenders have no money. We have a group of registered offenders and family members ready to fight...can we find someone who has the intestinal and financial fortitude to take on the good ole' boy system in Florida pro bono? We can try to get some money together to help with costs, but we need attorneys willing to fight to uphold the constitution for everyone, not just a chosen few. We have over a million and a half people whose lives are being destroyed in this country by insane laws based on a falsehood of high recidivism rates. We will be growing up a generation of children of these offenders who hate this government and what it has done to their families. Can you help publicize our efforts?” – section of an email forwarded by Jamie

“I really, really hate sex offenders. Really. Yes my opinion is biased because the word conjurs up child molesters, rapists, kiddie porn makers, etc. I know the majority don't do that, I know most are lumped in for less perverse reasons but still..... Yeah – I hear you. No one "likes" a sex offense or the person that has committed it. People can and DO change. Especially sex offenders. The general re offense rate REALLY is from 1-13%. No lie. There are some offenders that will not be able to change. That is what risk assessments are for. We have to stop lumping them all together in these laws or we will have to start a new registry and put those few of us who are NOT a registered sex offender on it because that list will be shorter. Thanks for giving a voice to those few of us who are still sane.” – email sent by Loralee

Families of Sex Offenders

I received many emails from the families of RSOs, many of them under the mistaken idea I might have information and knowledge about their situation I do not, or looking for support. I did do some research and offered some choices. So if any of you out there don't know where to begin, you're welcome to email me and I can send you the short list of resources I put together -- but I'm no expert. Please!

“Thank you for writing about the difficulties of sex offender registration. The public needs to know about some of these issues but very few speak up. We have so vilified, so demonized a large group of people, lumping in anyone who has done anything related to sex and subjected them to the worst of stereotypes. My son is one of those young men caught up in this nightmare, and all I can say is unless it happens to you, you have no idea of the injustice this country is capable of. Please, keep up the good work.” – email sent by gina

“Dear lmmartin, A family member is on probation and now registered on the sex offenders registry. It is a "romeo/juliet" type situation. Single offense. NO history. NO violence. NO danger to children/others, etc. But he and family must bear the same restrictions as if was a predator. Anyway. With no experience w/such things, are there support groups for families where you can get help and advice on how to cope with the restrictions, etc?” – email from May

“I must tell you Ms. Martin, your response to my email was a breakthrough. Do you remember asking, "Since when can you actually be arrested because of what someone said? Don’t you need real evidence? How could they arrest your son with only an accusation?" This simple (yet legally complex) statement suddenly made me realize why everyone out there sees everyone in our position as a monster. I was given a vision of the judicial system as those outside of our special circle see it. The music played, the clouds parted and the white robed judges descended from heaven, law books in hand. We are seen groveling in our sick and filthy guilt at their feet. Simply put, as the public sees it, none of us would be arrested if we hadn't done something "really bad" or convicted if we were not proven guilty "beyond a shadow of a doubt." And if you believe that, then I guess you’ll believe just about anything…. I won’t hold it against you. You are new here…” name withheld on request – an excerpt from an ongoing correspondence.

The "Sex offender" witch-hunt is arguably the most shameful and barbaric and bizarre outrage of the 20th (and now the 21std) century. The very idea that people who kidnap and torture and murder little children and then eat them for breakfast should legally be treated as more or less the same as people who consensually make love with each other even though they are not ""legally entitled" to touch each other's bodies, is one of the foremost reasons that "The Law" is nowadays regarded by so many people with such utter contempt. Wait until it is your young brother, son, cousin, best friend who is considered subhuman, despicable and vile for behavior as old as humanity… The government climbing into our beds in case there’s more than four years difference in age; and we allow people’s lives to be destroyed over this. Well God Bless America! Land of more people in prison (% wise) than any other country in the world.” – email from callmebob.

“…The monitoring system - we call it Hal, like in 2001 Space Odyssey (hey, you have to be able to laugh right?) consists of an ankle bracelet and an MTD, which is a big black box that has to go everywhere he goes. If he gets too far away from the MTD it will start to beep and a message appears that says “bracelet gone”, then he gets a call from the monitoring center. They ask where he is and why the alarm went off. This info gets logged somewhere, we don’t know where. Sometimes the MTD starts beeping and displays a message that says “warning go outside”. This means that it has lost its signal to the satellite; this is equipment malfunction and is no fault of his. It happens all the time, whether it be the grocery store, Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, home, the car, at work, my Dad’s garage, sometimes even when he’s outside in the yard. Occasionally an operator from the monitoring center will call if the signal is lost for an extended period of time at which point they will tell him that he has to walk the MTD outside for 15 minutes so that the unit can regain its signal. There have been a couple occasions where he has had to drive around an abandoned parking lot for an hour or more at the on-call Probation Officers direction. This happened last Christmas, he had to drive around for two hours while we had friends and family visiting from out of town. You can see how these types of issues would make it very hard to even maintain a job. No employer is going to put up with any employee having to drop what they are doing to go walk around for 15 minutes or more so that your GPS unit can try to find the satellite. He had a good job as a hairdresser, which is what he’s done for the last 18 years but, he and his employer both decided that it just wasn’t working out. He has been home now for 16 months and has been through three different jobs. How is someone supposed to live if they aren’t able to work? …” – an excerpt from a letter from M___ who has been describing life with an RSO for me.

A question

What is served by considering all persons under eighteen as a "child" for protection purposes, and then under the Adam Walsh Act propose that children as young as fourteen should be prosecuted and registered? We now see cases where persons as young as twelve and thirteen, are in the unique position of being both victim and offender in the same incident.(Utah)

Is this a form of insanity?

And of course, the Sex Offenders themselves

Of course, many registered sex offenders have written to me, many thanking me for trying to present a balanced view of the issues. Others, mistakenly taking me for an advocate for sex offenders, asked for my help.I am not an advocate for offenders. Still others just seemed to want to tell me their life stories.

But these articles which seem to have elicited such a mixed and highly emotional response, asked only one question: do we serve society's interests by lumping all offenses that have anything to do with sex under one umbrella and treating all the same?

So, from all the letters I received from the offenders I picked the one that best seems to reflect that question.

Dear lmmartin,

Let me tell you what is about to happen to you. Your suggestion there may be injustice in the sex offenders registry will bring the wrath of the gods upon your head. They will descend upon you demanding to know why you want to protect pedophiles, how you could have become so mentally deranged as to offer understanding and support to something so low as a convicted and registered sex offender. Don’t you know we are all defilers of innocent children?

Any effort you make to present the other side means you have been duped by us, influenced by us into stupidly believing in our pathetic attempts to portray ourselves as human beings. They know the truth you see. They know we are all horribly guilty of the worst crimes imaginable, and you are an idiot for listening to us. We deserve the gutter we find ourselves in. We deserve it.

If we tell you our stories, they are automatically lies. We are all liars. Our stories of horror and terror, of being caught up in a legal system that long ago abandoned any semblance of justice, of helplessness, impotence and despair, no don’t listen; we are crying tales of ‘poor me’ – despicable wretches that we are. Of having to choose between a plea bargain or the financial ruin of our families; facing 20 years if we go to trial and only a few months if we plea, having both the prosecutor and the defense attorney work at you until you cave (a win-win for both lawyers) and do as they wish, not understanding the registry means the nightmare goes on forever.

Of the struggle to survive jail where the very label sex offender means you are an acceptable target for those who feel vastly superior and self-righteous, even in that hell-hole of murderers, thieves, violent rapists, muggers… And that is just the beginning.

Back home to a family who has stood by you throughout this nightmare – if you are lucky – only to find your very presence is destroying their lives. Your parents, your spouse, your children, everyone who loves you now has to share your humiliation. If your family lives in one of the “no-go, no-sleep zones” they move, and all landlords are just dying to rent to a convicted sex offender. No job. No money. Nothing to offer.

No hope.

But my dear lmmartin, if we tell you our truth, we are only ‘moaning poor me’ when in fact we should be sitting in a jail cell for the rest of our worthless lives, grateful society isn’t yet so hysterical it demands our executions.

What’s that, you ask? What was my crime? Well, here we run into another paradox. You see, if I tell you the truth of the matter, I am ‘minimizing’ my crime. And this, according to popular myth means I am at risk to re-offend. Furthermore, as is already established, we are all liars. I am – I lied in court when I took my plea. That’s right: lied under oath. Lied about my intent. I had to, but it was the only way out – according to my lawyer. You see, you can’t take a plea without admitting your guilt. So, what do I do?

Here’s what I pled to: lewd and lascivious act with a child under 16. I pled guilty to that to avoid a charge of statutory rape. Twenty years versus thirty-six months in prison. Ten years registration. Would you throw the dice?

Yes, I had sex with a girl of fifteen. Guilty – guilty, guilty, guilty.

Now, I am such a danger to society I am not allowed a life. I spend all my days plotting how to get my hands on another under-age girl, yes I do. I will stalk them at school, at the library, at bus stops, in parks, at the beach which is why I can’t go there.

Strangely enough, I am allowed to go where I first met this girl – a sports bar. She was drinking a glass of wine, and I’m sure the bartender carded her. He carded me. I had just turned twenty-one a few weeks ago, so service in a bar was a new experience.

She was pretty, well-built, nicely dressed and she liked me. Wow! Not like this happened to me every day. I bought her another glass of wine. We talked. One thing led to another, as it will when you’re young. She invited me to her apartment, which turned out to be her older sister’s apartment – where her father found us later.

I had a good-faith basis to believe her of age, you say? One would think so, but I’m afraid no, not in this day and age. Nope, meeting a pretty girl in an adult setting isn’t enough anymore.

Apparently, like the bartender involved who was charged with providing alcohol to a minor, we must ask for a birth certificate, not a driver’s license or other ID before either serving wine or having sex. And the judge doesn’t want to hear anything else.

“No tolerance,” he said. “No tolerance for those who abuse our children.”

And then, just when seven of my ten years on the registry were done, the Adam Walsh Act changed everything, and boom! Retroactively my term of registration was changed to twenty-five years. So now, instead of this horror ending soon, it will continue until I am a middle aged man.

I will never have a normal life.

If you think my story is unusual, you are wrong.

If you think it is a pack of lies made up to make me look good, and cover up the fact I am truly a monster who preys on little girls and deserve this life of ostracism, you are typical.

And you, lmmartin, will be blasted in the blogs as a friend of the fiends, patsy of the perverts, maven of the molesters, darling of the depraved, sweetheart of the sex offenders. It’s already happening – I googled.

And yes, many of us RSOs will write to you. So seldom do we hear a voice of reason, of understanding, or sanity, of course we flock to bask in the light of someone who listens. Some of us are guilty of horrible crimes against children; some are guilty of horrible crimes against adults, but many of us are not – newsflash folks!

Thank you for your attempt to show both sides of the issues. If I can be any assistance, please let me know.

Ken Tanner from Indiana – go ahead, look me up.

Age 6

For the record

I am neither an apologist nor an advocate for those that sexually molest children.

I spent thirty years of my life working in child protection, defending and protecting the victims of child abuse -- of which sexual abuse is only one of the many abuses practiced against children. We seem to have lost sight of that very important fact.

I have assisted in the prosecution of a number of abusers of children -- many guilty of sexual abuse. I know the difference between a child abuser and a pedophile, something most people choose to overlook or refuse to understand.

I have been professionally involved with children my entire adult life, and understand the natural sexuality of the child -- which we should never allow to be perverted or appropriated by an adult, but nor should we punish its exploration in an age appropriate manner. The current move to prosecute children of twelve and thirteen for sexual activity is in itself an abuse. And an obscenity.

Most child sex abuse, like most forms of child abuse, takes place within the family circle (including it's extended form) and most forms of incest abuse are not driven by pedophilia, but by control and domination issues. Incest abusers are general family specific and unlikely to offend outside of the family. Intervention is usually successful and over three-quarters of the victims and perpetrators of incest abuse are reunited.

True pedophiles are not likely to respond to treatment. Pedophilia is a specific aberration and before bandying the term about, an understanding of the definition is a good idea.

More than most of those writing angry emails to me or blogs about me because of these articles, I am intimately familiar with the trauma and effects of sexual abuse on the victims. I've lost count of how many hundreds of sexually abused children I've counseled, how many of our 'throw away' children I've fostered, how many abusers I've hated. Rape of the Innocents -- yes. But this doesn't blind me to injustice when I see it, or rob me of compassion for those living it.

I was also a victim. First, a victim of an abusive home, of an unstable parent with emotional issues, of cruelty, violent punishment and emotional abuse. I remember being beaten with a belt for indulging in sex play with my little friends as all children do. This set me up as vulnerable to the kind of adult we all love to hate. A member of our 'inner circle' abused me. Those memories of touching, poking, prodding and finally violation (though not sexual intercourse -- it was a saliva soaked cigar, I believe) are hazy. I might have been six at first. What seemed so strange was that it went on right under my parents' noses. And I wouldn't have dreamed of telling them -- I would have expected to be punished for it. Such was the state of things. It ended as I grew older. I once asked my younger sister if he'd touched her. She said no.

At the age of fourteen, while on vacation in the beautiful region of Salmon Arm in British Columbia, I was violently raped -- by a grown man, one of those stranger danger encounters. I didn't tell my parents about that either, believing they would have blamed me and been angry with me. I explained my scrapes and bruises as having fallen while out hiking. No one questioned it.

By the time I was fifteen, I needed someone kind, someone loving almost as badly as I needed oxygen. I found it. My boyfriend was a student at a vocational college, shy, quiet and decent. He was also twenty. He was good to me and for me. He had as much to do with me being a functioning woman now as anyone else in my life. Yet, today's laws would have him go to prison and register for twenty-five years. And that would have been a real tragedy.

I don't believe the maxim so often repeated "if it saves just one child from abuse then it's all worth while." I don't think our men should be sacrificed in numbers to save one child. Children are part of our society, and we should do all we can for them but not at the expense of other members. Men were once little boys. I think we should all be equally precious, regardless of age or gender. No, I don't think that injustice is acceptable under any circumstances, nor for any 'good cause.'

So, there you have it. I hope this answers your questions as to 'who the hell I think I am' or 'God only knows what motivates her.'

Folks, if ever there was a time to step back, take a deep breath and a good look at what we're doing, this is it.

More by this Author


Comments 58 comments

Amie Warren 5 years ago

Very nice article. It's amazing what different perspectives all the different entities involved have.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Powerful. Reflects life. It is not black and white. No simple answers.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting the many points of view from all sides. It is impossible to find the right answer to every case and yet you and these various people have to find an answer. Thank you for sharing these details about a world we only always just know these few headlines.


Nan 5 years ago

I hope that these articles will open the eyes of both men and women. It's serious and can damage the lives of the people involved for life. Maybe someday there will be classes and counselling for those involved. It appears that putting them in jail, or prison has not worked. There must be other solutions, that we have not come up with.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Good morning everyone.

Hi Amie, Yes, it seems not only does everyone have strong opinion, they are all equally sure theirs is the one and only truth. So frustrating -- but then isn't that the way it is on every situation?

Hi Dallas, Hope your Mom is well. No life is never black and white, good and bad, right and wrong, but is always various shades of grey. Thanks for coming by.

Hi Hello -- an answer that suits everyone is simply not possible. But as the old saying goes: the more laws, the less justice. Thanks for commenting.

Hello Nan, While I'd be the last to suggest we shouldn't track, control and contain dangerous predatory sex offenders -- of course we should -- we need to review both our practice and our prejudices in what we're actually doing -- and why. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 5 years ago from Ohio

Here in Ohio...if a 13 year old boy has consensual sex with a 12 year old girl...the boy can be charge with rape. He will most likely be charged with a lesser crime but will be considered by law a sexual predator. He will attend counseling and he can only refer to the girl as,"his victim."

Hundreds if not thousands of young boys are being funneled into the nightmare of the justice system daily. They are told that squeezing a breast is no different than molesting a toddler.

100% of the sexual responsibility is directed toward the males.

This is a great hub...I hope you get millions of reads.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Tom -- in some states it may be so, but I am following a case in Utah where a 13 year old girl and a 12 year old boy are both charged as offenders and are each considered victims of the other. Amazing -- only a lawyer could see any semblance of merit to this stand.

Why has this society become so frenzied over anything connected to sex? Sexual exploration and play is as much a normal part of childhood as sexual needs are a part of human adulthood. I am appalled at such a repressive movement.

Let's go beyond the obscenity of punishing children for sexual activity for a moment, and look at the oh so common man involved with an underage girl (and for those who love to jump to extremes, I am NOT referring to the 40 year man with the 12 year girl!!) often unknowingly. We say the girls of 15 or 16 don't have the mental acuity or life experience to consent. To this I must say with all due respect, what total bull shit! My memory serves me just fine and I remember my own teenage years and my friends. I noted when trying to make this point with FLRSOinfo on a previous article and his response is, "do we want college boys abusing middle school girls?" Abusing those girls, is that what he thinks is happening? He doesn't know girls very well if that's his thought. At 14, 15, 16 -- many girls are as predatory as any 30 year bar cruiser.

You gotta love that blind spot though. Gotta admire the denial.

You are right, Tom, when you say these laws put an unfair responsibility on the males -- particularly when we consider how nature designed them. If you are going to make it illegal for a girl under the age of 18 to have sex with a man more than four years her senior, then you'd better start charging the girls with a crime as well. Why not? You're charging pubescent kids with sex crimes -- may as well strive for consistency.

Insanity!


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 5 years ago from Ohio

You have such an amazing sense of balance. I would write more but I'm off to work. Have a wonderful day and thank you for writing this hub.


FGual profile image

FGual 5 years ago from USA

Thank you for sharing comments you received on this difficult issue. I agree the current system is broken, and only creates more anger and homelessness. There has to be distinction between consensual or not, regardless of age. Repeat offenders and one-timers must be dealt with separately.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Good Morning, Lynda - A class article if there ever was one. Nice work and a novel approach. Within the article was one sentence of one response that gonged a bell - "People who do stuff like that should not be allowed to live in the same society as the rest of us." That made me recall all of the stuff I have read about the very prevalent and rather open practice of muslim men (particularly in Afghanistan) to be homosexual pedophiles; that is to consort with "their" young boys. It was said to be a point of pride for those men and to the detriment of their wives, etc. That practice over an entire religion-political thing might make for a really interesting study. Anyway, this was a remarkable piece of hard work you produced, Lynda. Thanks.

Gus :-)))


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks, Tom. Have a good day at work and I hope you come back when you have time and voice more of your thoughts on these issues. Look forward to it. Lynda

Hello Fgual. Nice to hear from you, as always. Yes, I think that is the point many people directly involved in this situation are trying to make. We need to differentiate between sexual predators and those caught up in a mistake. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Hi Gus -- Yes -- the old "a woman for children, a boy for pleasure" which is THEIR culture and world -- not ours -- and though an interesting subject, bears no relation to sex offenders and the registry here in the U.S.

In some cultures it is common to sell your daughters at nine, ten or eleven as 'bride wealth' wives -- that is slaves -- to men, sometimes old men. But then that practice doesn't reflect on the issues at hand either.

Quite frankly, I am tired of hearing about the bad practices of these 'muslim' societies whenever we try to discuss the muck in our own backyards. It is a common occurance, so common I wonder whether there isn't some conspiracy at work. A year ago, when a child sex slave trafficking ring in the U.S. was raided, broken up, 60 pimps arrested, 52 children recovered and over 600 people charged -- the news didn't cover the event at all. On that same day, CNN ran the story of 4 Iraqui boys forced to service rich and powerful men. Yes -- poor little boys in Iraq, how horrible, what a terrible culture and aren't we morally superior. Not a word on the 52 recovered children here in the U.S. Here the link to that story and the truth of child sex slave trafficking in the U.S. http://hubpages.com/politics/52-children-recovered...

I apologize if I seem rude, Gus, but I am truly sick at heart over this continuing tendency to discuss practices in our supposed enemy countries whenever the state of affairs in the U.S. is called into question. Why? What is the possible connection? Is it, well we may have problems here, but look how bad it is elsewhere? We are discussing a problem within our own society here.

Thanks for your comment. I am always happy to hear from you and again, I apologize for spouting off on this frustration. Lynda

You remind me of my sister, who when I tried to talk to her of the abuse in our household said, "It wasn't so bad. Lot's of other kids had it worse than we did."

Not the point, not the point at all.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Wow Lynda - I surely did not mean to dispute anything in your excellent compilation. There is no argument from me that our society has much that needs doing as to our mainfest problems with predacious child molestation and sexual mistreatment.

I only thought it might be interesting to learn more about the condoning of much the same sort of thing within whole other societies within which there are apparently no efforts toward controlling or stopping the practices. It was not a put-off to excuse anything going on or not going on in western countries.

And, unlike your sister, I have the attitude that "It is very bad, and it needs firm correction and control." Those were my points.

Once again, Lynda, your article was a great article, and I am sorry that my earlier comments angered you.

Gus :-)))


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks Gus, Not angered. Frustrated with this tendency. And it is not that the muslim religion condones these practices -- the Koran does not condone child sex abuse -- but that rich and powerful men can do as they wish in these poor countries. Oh -- a lot like here, I guess.

Thanks for your clarification.

Lynda


"Quill" 5 years ago

LOve you Sis and love the way you do your homework and stand your ground, that my dear comes from a proper upbringing and the many blessing God has bestowed upon you.

Keep up the great work and may the Father be with you in all ways.

Hugs and Love from Canada


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks so much Quill. Always nice to have your support. Blessings for you. May His peace be with you. Lynda


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Gee Gods! What a can of worms! Lynda, you are so brave. Please accept a bow from me before you keep on reading.

This issue reminds me of the HIV-virus. No cure. Only control. Obviously the current methods are totally ineffective. It is definitely time to stand back and re-evaluate, re-plan. All involved should take part in this. Also the sex-offenders. They surely must have some ideas in stock – how to prevent this crime. Of course many of them are mentally not able to participate. But there must be some who are able to help build a system that is fair, humane, and effective in preventing the crime and dealing with offenders. Education should, in my opinion, be the foundation of this system.

I guess it all come down to the Golden Rule - Love/respect others the way you love/respect yourself. No person is born with a passion to hurt himself or others. We love ourselves instinctively – and just have to extend this love to others. This is basically a line. The line (and we) get crooked and tangled the moment we get off it.

Perhaps it is one of those lines in a circus tent – only an acrobat with a balancing-pole can stay on it.

I’m glad I was able to make a little contribution towards your efforts to change a corrupt system. If you think I may be able to do more, you know where to find me.

Lynda, I really wish you all of the best with this ‘project’. You’ve courageously opened this can of worms, Ma’am, please don’t close it again. Strike this iron thoroughly while it is hot. I don’t even have to say you should not take those irrational and insulting opinions of the narrow-minded and short-sighted to heart, for you (and I) know you are an eagle.... who doesn’t catch flies. You see the bigger picture that is not at all visible to the dogs-in-the-mangers.

Take care!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you so much Martie. You make me blush with your undeserved praise.

My question in writing this is not so much 'what do we do with the offenders' as 'why are we branding everyone with the same mark.' For those who target and abuse children, I don't care if the system is humane or not. I am not purporting a more humane system, merely a rational one.

Thanks for commenting. Lynda


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

See that's the scary thing, I was trying to explain this to my sister, her daughter is fourteen but she looks more like eighteen and she's been going around telling people that she is in her twenties. I tried to explain to my sister that this young naïve little girl can end up ruining some guys life, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life if he sleeps with her. It's just a terrifying world we are living in now.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi rachelle -- what you are describing is so very common. Didn't you lie about your age to impress some young man at some point. I did -- I think we all did. Thanks so much for your comment. Lynda


KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Hello LM, thank you for your strength and conviction in spite of tremendous pain and heartache to yourself. Heroes are odd creatures... living half in the dark of pain and half in the light of understanding all things painful.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

I appreciate your comment and your support, but I must say I do not suffer tremendous pain or heartache. I got thick skinned a long time ago. So please do not see me as the suffering hero -- I am neither. Thanks Lynda


ocbill profile image

ocbill 5 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

Yeah, leave it to lawyers in this country and politicians passing BS bills and you get 12 & 13 years old charged like that or meeting a mate in the bar and getting charged. Why the legal system isn't getting better.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

It is the law of unintended consequences at work here. In the throes of passion, wanting to 'do something' following some very horrible crimes involving children, we have taken good intentions and cast our net too wide. While I agree on control and containment of dangerous sex offenders, this has now become ridiculous. And one commenter said, do you have a crystal ball; can you predict who will or who will not attack a child? Well, I guess in that case we better put everyone on this list.


itakins profile image

itakins 5 years ago from Irl

Lynda

I suppose as long as people keep searching for answers -solutions may come.It is refreshing though to read this ,and other articles of yours,and not meet with blanket condemnation of all 'offenders'.There are not just two sides to this issue-but so many.

Great work.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 5 years ago

Must go back and read the rest now that I got some down time. Very powerful piece and you make some excellent view points that I often wondered myself. Brilliant piece.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 5 years ago from USA

This is extremely good information, straight from those who know. As a foster mother, most of the kids we had in care were sexually abused. Their perps were normally family/friends.

They needed to be punished for their crimes.

As a mother of 3 healthy sons, who despite my best advice and "don't be sexually active warnings," they did not always withstand temptations... which strikes fear in the heart and I completely understand the stories of those who walked thin lines from sexual behavior.

No "threat" or harm to others, any one day could have ruined their lives. Their simply has to be a serious improvement in the way we deal with and decide who goes on the "list." Ruining lives cannot be undone, to have people "go on" with their life and become wiser and better is the ultimate goal, yet the laws prevent that in their rush to protect the innocent, which doesn't happen anyway.

Not everyone who has sex with a 4 year in age difference person is a predator, my God, surely we can see that.

Very good discussion, so very heartbreakingly thought-provoking.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Marisuewrites, Why should we expect our young people to 'resist temptation?' They are human and sex is part of human nature. To so severely punish young people who follow their normal drives but unfortunately with someone a year or two too young, does not make sense. Certainly, it is an issue -- but not one worthy of destroying their lives.

It is a strange world where we have murderers who complain because as registered violent offenders they have to use the same registry, but consider themselves sullied by having to do so. A murderer, it seems, is vastly superior to a sex offender .... sigh! We really have gone round the bend on this issue. Thanks for commenting.

Hi Ita and so good to see you round the place again. It's been far too long. We've all missed you. Lynda

Hi JannyC -- yes, it is a complicated issue. Thanks for reading. Lynda


ALL4JESUS profile image

ALL4JESUS 5 years ago from USA

lmmartin,

I am so sorry for the trauma. Life should not be this way.

My Grandfather was very protective of me - I didn't understand.

Decades later I was asked to add to a terrible family item and speak up against my uncle. I was so protected by my Grandfather I had no knowledge that this man was bad.

Oh, how I pray that more Grandfathers are wise like mine.

I have no trauma to relate to yet I empathize and my eyes tear up for the pain of others.

Throughout all of my education, one of the greatest eye openers for me was the Catholic program for protecting our children. It is the duty of each of us. Your portion of this duty is unbelievable in weight and importance.

Please keep up the great work - our prayers are with you.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you, allforJesus. As you've probably figured out by now, children like you, protected, who made it to adulthood unscathed are the minority. Thanks for your commment. Bless you. Lynda


queenbe profile image

queenbe 5 years ago from NY

I read a few paragraphs of your article on "Quotes" and I knew you were not a new or average writer. I then read your profile and had my answer. You are an outstanding, professional writer and I am very proud and appreciative of your friendship, first on Facebook and now on here. I have only just begun to read your writing and will check out your blog, and books. Astounding and so informative I see why you have so many followers!!


Sharin Griffin 5 years ago

Wonderful hub! My husband is currently on the sex offender registry over consesual sex with his girlfriend. He was 18 and she was 17, or so her fake ID and lying mouth said. He broke up with her and wham, police are at the door days later charging him with statutory rape. She was 15. What is worse, in the state of GA, OCGA 16-6-3 states that if the victim is no less than 14 and the offender no more than 18 or three years older than the victim, then it is charged as a misdemeanor. They slapped him with a felony and make him register every single year. When I met him, I read all the court records and paperwork from his case and was infuriated at how the judge could disregard the law. So we filed a motion to overtturn this illegal judgment. This was denied, stating that the law did not apply to him because he was 3 years and 11 days older than her. I mean REALLY? We are going to ruin his life over her lies and 11 days? She was given a slap on the wrist when this all happened when the year prior, she was 14 and did the exact same thing to a 43 year old man. This little tidbit was ignored when brought up in court. For the past 7 years, he has been unable to obtain employment or even wipe his nose without probation watching his every move. He made a mistake at 18, still a child himself regardless of emancipation laws. Now he's classified with the likes of predators who repeat their offenses. Something has to be done or the family unit as we know it will diminish and become extinct thanks to our own government. Sorry for the rant, just had to share because I believe that if we keep quiet about these injustices, we are no better than the crooked lawmakers who govern our very lives. God Bless.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you Queenbe -- nice to meet you both here and on facebook. I will visit some of your work. Lynda

Hi Sharon, Your story is another example of how we've gone wrong on this whole issue. We are fast approaching one million registered sex offenders, of which a large number are story such as your husband's. What are we doing?

Thanks so much for sharing this with us and for commenting here. Lynda


amy 5 years ago

as a wife of a sex offender the laws are crazy they do not protect the victim the destroy the offender,if you have been accused of an offence regardless if it was a child or adult you are put in the same category.And if you have been accused and do not have the money to fight the charge you are going to prison,in the state we live a child can go and have sex with a grown man at the age of sixteen thats crazy and there is nothing to be done about it but if she yells rape the man is gone to prison. and with the registery laws are famiy can not live any were with out being looked down apown for a crime that could not be fought are children have to be called names and mistreated the laws do not protect anyone the laws just make money for each state what a shame on are politicians,and another thing what about all the judges,senators and governors the people that have money what about all the crimes they have commited o i forgot they paid there way out of trouble


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks for your comment, Amy.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

We're almost all guilty of wanting the simple, easy answer. It's so much easier to treat everyone alike and ignore the circumstances of each case. This allows us to avoid actually examining what happened (AND deal with our feelings about it), and then reason out a just solution. It allows us to sidestep any responsibility for the lives affected, while we wrap ourselves in the moral certainty that we are doing the right thing.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

It is certainly true we've followed our knee-jerk reactions to an extreme level. As a society we wanted to do something, which is commendable. But now I believe we've gone too far. Thanks for your comment, RedElf. Lynda


Leesabet 5 years ago

This is a long article, and I only skimmed through it, but what I found, I found true.

The problem is not the ones on the registy--we know who they are and where to find them.

The dangerous ones are the ones not in complience with the laws, who do not register.

They keep making more laws like megans law, which put them all in the same bucket, but Megan was also murdered. But we don't have a murderers' registry.

Yes, its about society trying to feel batter about itself, and the lists are so full of mistakes and abuses of justice that someone can find themselves on the list for nothing more 'sexual' than relieving themselves on a long drive along a roadside where there were no rest stops.

The whole system needs to be dimsantled...too many innocent people are on the dam lists, and 'saving one person' does not justify screwing up the lives of people who are not dangerous.

You're right..the majority is within families, and legally, they are exempt from registering, but they have been made to do so and show up on the lists anyway, and then people wont' have anyting to do with them..the can't get jobs and stuff.

It is a very bad set of laws.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you Leesabet. This is called the law of unforseen consequences, but in truth it is the expected outcome of a corrupt system that serves political gains above justice. There it is, the truth. Thanks so much for commenting here. Lynda


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

Lynda, your hubs always give me so much to think about. I have not had to deal with any of this on a personal level, so have not thought about it as those who have been touched by it must. Your articles have been well written and as far as I can tell, well researched. Not to mention of course, very well presented. I will be passing this one on as I have the others in the hope of sharing some of your common sense along to others.

Thank you for taking the time to do this right.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you, Duchess. High praise coming from you! Thank you. Lynda


David M. 5 years ago

Hello again, Lynda

Another fantastic article. I did not realize the extent of your childhood trauma, and for that I feel sorry for you. On the one hand, by comparison, my troubles are small. At the same time, congratulations for overcoming your obstcles and become the awesome writer that you are. I want you to know and understand, that I don't see you as a "friend to pedos" or as someone on "my side". I simply value your ability to look at a sibject objectively and fairly, ESPECIALLY for someone who has suffered what you have. And I don't care if you believe it yourself, but you are every bit the HERO and SURVIVOR that others have titled you. A survivor for your past, a hero for your present, and noone knows the future. Thank you again for another, excellent read.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you David, and yes I am a survivor but not a hero. I've not wish to be a hero. Thanks anyway. Glad you enjoyed the articles. When I started this, I had no idea of where I'd end up. Lynda


David M. 5 years ago

You wipe the tears, put band-aids on the "boo-boos", and console and comfort the victims DIRECTLY , and can simultaniously view this subject fairly, and you're not a hero?! I bet there are many, countless children out there who would disagree with you. But your modesty makes you a true hero.


alica 5 years ago

very nice and unique article i thinks its best article every i see on this.@ Immartin i invit you plz come and start discusson on this come on at enjoy points.co.cc


Anonymous 5 years ago

First off, I would like to say to everyone here that I am happy to meet you. I am dating a registered sex offender. I follow various sites regarding sex offender issues and education. I would like to suggest a few of these sites where people can go to to keep updated on these issues. If you are interested in sex offender rights issues, please visit the following links: www.cfcamerica.org, www.oncefallen.com and www.sosen.org. There are also petitions circulating that call for the abolishment of the sex offender registry and the abolishment of the retroactive application of the sex offender registry. The links to these petitions are listed as:

ABOLISH THE PUBLIC SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

http://www.change.org/petitions/abolish-the-public...

ABOLISH THE RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

http://www.change.org/petitions/abolish-retroactiv...

Last, but not least, if you go to the Citizens for Change, America website (www.cfcamerica.org), you can read about a potential class action lawsuit against Megan's Law. You have to register for this site in order to read the posts, but there is a lot of relevant and important information about these laws that will not only educate you, but maybe give you hope to fight these insane laws. We need money to start and hopefully win this lawsuit, but the more people get involved, the less each person has to contribute financially. All of the details are posted in the website under the forum "filing a lawsuit to stop megans law. spoke with attorney norm pattis". Please sign the petitions and pass it on to anybody who might be interested in signing. That would be very helpful. Thank you all for reading my post and you all have a wonderful evening.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you for the information, Anonymous.


diehard25fl profile image

diehard25fl 5 years ago from southboro, ma

the good news is that it is now easy to sue the govts. to get the laws thrown out. they punish everyone regardless of the crime and they will lose soon. the laws dont protect anyone and waste taxpayers hard earned money. please sign the link here to get level 1 and 2 sex offenders off the registry. they are not dangerous and we dont need to monitor them any longer.

http://www.change.org/petitions/get-level-1-and-le...

After you sign the petition, contact me at diehard25fl@yahoo.com so i can add you to our growing list of people to sue govt to get laws thrown out finally. Abolish slavery. slavery was declared illegal in 1864.


wasen 5 years ago

even though, i am registered as a sex-offender, but the nature of my crime was very petty. i was 19yrs. old who dated a 15yrs. old female. yes it was my fault not paying close attention and the consequences that came after. they now call a case like mine ROMEO AND JULIET. i went on a radio talkshow because the people here in michigan were painting guys like me with a same brush as a pedophile. now they label me as a tier 3 offender. i know for a fact that i am not a true pedophile who doesn't deserve to be labeled as tier 3 offender. there are men and women here in this state who are true pedophiles and they are labeled as tier 1. you know what??? SORA IS MORE OF AN ASSET THAN IS AN A CONSTITUTION! YES. i do have an advocate on my side who is willing to work on my caseload and i pray to God that all this mess will be over with. i do apologize for those who were and are victims of a sex crime. no woman or child or anybody else deserve to be victim of a sex crime period!


PreferUnknown 5 years ago

I have read many people comments and I feel that I can relate my story to some of those. I believe that sex offenders do deserve second chance to live a life without being label sex offender. It all depends on their crime that they have committed and should be labelled upon the crime that he or she did. If a person is 18 and the person is 16 and if the law said That the other person is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age, and the actor is 5 or more years older than other person.

That "IF" person is 18 and the other person lied about being 18 but really is "16" and that was 2 years difference. So that person should not be label "Sex Offender". I wonder how the law is applied to those age of 18 and 16 years old and between that there is no 5 years or more. So it's two years difference, but if the person plead guilty and serve his time, then should not be label sex offender.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello diehard25fl -- Thanks for the link and good luck.

Hello wasen -- I agree, the Romeo and Juliet cases don't belong on the registry.

Hello Peterunknown -- There are so many "IF's" involved here. The bottom line is those younger than eighteen are "off limits." Is this realistic? fair? even forcible? I doubt it, but it is the law. I agree that such fine lines should not be the basis for registration as a sex offender but apparently the law does not agree. Thanks for your comment.

THanks everyone. Lynda


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

I must tell you that I do believe you are a wonderful woman. You have something many in the world today are missing, good common sense.

A new law is being attempted to be legislated in my home state, I oppose this particular law. I believe that it should be 'common sense' rather than a law. (It will effect the Romeo/Juliet type of situation as well as your story of the 20 yr old who saved your sanity, only for Foster children) When discussing this with the aid to the Senator (who is proposing the Law) he said to me "We can't legislate common sense". I think at that moment I realized that our lawmakers have lost all common sense.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Our lawmakers are playing to special interest groups, trying to appear whiter than white and holier than thou. Which automatically eliminates common sense. Thanks so much for commenting here. Lynda


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Immartin.....You are a brave woman. I just happened upon this hub, not expecting to come across something so deathly serious and a topic I am actively involved in.

There certainly is a vast difference between a "pedophile" and a "sex-offender" under the Main Title of Sexual Predators/Criminals. A young man of perhaps, 20 years old, who has consensual sex with his 17 year-old girlfriend, unfortunately can find himself doing time behind bars, should the girl or the parents of the girl choose to cause this guy a huge legal hassle for some reason. It happens.... a lot.

This is not the same situation nor anywhere near the same type of sleezy low-life who would prey upon small children.

I can understand having compassion for the man in the 1st. scenerio I mention and wanting to help however possible.

As for the latter? I'm afraid I cannot specify and certainly cannot use graphic language, to what my thoughts are in terms of the pond scum who sexually harm (and/or kill) innocent, defenseless children) Any treatment accepted for human beings is off the table entirely. We may not be able to legally blow their heads off and just leave them to rot where they lay......but we can sterilze the lot of them and ship them off to a distant deserted island with absolutely nothing, but what they can find to survive. In all seriousness and with total sincerety, this is what needs be done with these beasts.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi fpherj48 -- Yes, I am in complete agreement in the cases of Romeo/Juliet type offenses, and the more we clog up the system with these non-dangerous offenders, the harder it is to deal with the real predators. I also agree that those who prey on children should expect little mercy in return. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


diehard25fl profile image

diehard25fl 4 years ago from southboro, ma

2 sex offenders have been murdered as a result of these feel safe laws someone please contact the victims to file a wrongfuldeath suit. even if they lose we all still win the madness has to come to an end. punishing people who have already paid their debts to society and have no opportunity to prove they are not dangerous is bullshit. i posted the people who were murdered by our criminal justice system and public safety office. please beg them to file a lawsuit they have one year from date of murder to do it. they are entitled to the money. everybody has a right to be protected and feel safe in this country no matter what they did in the past. thank you god bless you and god loves u all.

1) link: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/05/washington-ma...

2)http://abcnews.go.com/US/video?id=1887177

3)http://www.operationawareness.com/index_19.html

4)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/2012/06/daughter-fe...

5)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/search/label/Regist...

6)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/search/label/Regist...

7)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/search/label/Regist...

8)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/search/label/Regist...

9)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/search/label/Regist...

10)http://on-murders.blogspot.com/search/label/Regist...

"how many sex offenders have to die or be murdered before these feel good laws are struck down?" did america get enough retribution for their victims yet? when is enough enough? contact me at diehard25fl@yahoo.com so i can tell you how we will file largest punitive lawsuit in history of mankind to collect for damages to sex offenders by these fucked up laws with no purpose except to do more harm. thank you. daniel goichman


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you for your comment and the information. Good luck.


Sanxuary 3 years ago

The child on child offenses have me truly pondering what is going on in society today. Its obvious these ideas are coming from some where in order for these kids to be learning these things. Have adults and older children forgotten kids and stopped protecting them from carnal knowledge? Is the education system teaching children adult decision making way to early. Maybe television and other sources are simply making bad ideas more accessible? What is your take on this side of the problem?


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 3 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

I don't believe this is a new problem. In fact, it's as old as humanity. The only thing "new" is that we no longer sweep it under the carpet and pretend it doesn't exist. That's my take. Thanks for commenting.

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