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Do You Really Know Your Neighbors?

Updated on February 11, 2022


On March 28th I attended a presentation on child abuse. There were eight people on the panel, all people who have a big impact on victims, offenders, or either’s family’s lives. A few of the panelist were Tina Stanford, Shawn Born, Allison Young and Ellen Ford. This presentation was brought to us to help raise awareness about child abuse and awareness of the video they created.

The video "Child Sexual Predators: The Familiar Stranger" features three offenders, three victims and Tina Stanford as the narrator. The victims talk about their experiences and how when they told people did not believe them. In one case the mother chose to believe the accused over the children, in another a priest took advantage of the boys and a teacher/coach took advantage of the children with low self esteem.

They also talked about statistics and gave us a web site and an 800 number to help the public get information on sex offenders. To start they told us there are app. 32,246 sex offenders in NY State alone. On average, 93% of victims under the age of 17 know their predator, and 73% over the age of 17 know their predator. Also 56% of offenders are level one offenders. They gave us a web site where you can do a search for your area, zip code or by name for sex offenders. The web site only list level two and level three offenders, to get level one offenders you have to call the hot line at 1-800-262-3257. On the web site you can even sign up for email notifications that notify you when a sex offender moves to your town or moves out of your town.

A sex offender is required to verify their address or it’s a crime and they are arrested. Last year (2010) 656 arrest warrants for sex offenders were issued and filled for failure to register their addresses, this is a felony.

Most importantly, I learned what pedophiles look for in children in most cases. They look for kids that are out casts or need an ego boost. Something they can get common ground on or the abuser can get leverage on. One offender said that he knew he could take these two girls because they confided in him about their sexual encounters with their neighbor, so he had something to blackmail them with if they told anyone about what he was going to do to them.

Knowing all this information scares me, I went to the web site and there are 11 level two and three offenders in Baldwinsville, NY alone. I understand they are everywhere and you just need to be proactive and make sure you talk to your kids. They listed so many signs of sexual abuse, two signs are; a child does not want to see someone or is suddenly scared of that person, or withdraws from someone they usually are very close with or all people in general.

I feel a bit more confident just having some of the knowledge that I do. However, more people need to know the warning signs and made aware of their neighbors and their community. Take a few minutes to visit the web sites below and get a feel for your neighborhood. I do advise that only mature audiences view the video, for it contains mature content and it tears at your heart.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Ashley


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