Enjoying brunch with your local Sex Offender

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Lenore Skenazy . . . Sunday morning at 10 found me slicing the tomatoes and arranging the cheese platter. My husband was setting up the chairs. At 11, the doorbell rang. And so began my very first sex offender brunch.

What exactly is that? It’s a brunch where I invited my friends in the press to meet my friends on the sex offender registry: Josh Gravens, 28, and Galen Baughman, 31. I’ll tell you their crimes in a sec, but first let me explain why this issue interests me.

As founder of the book, blog and movement Free-Range Kids, I am always trying to figure out, as the subtitle of my book says, “How to raise safe, self-reliant children without going nuts with worry.”

I like programs that actually help kids avoid abuse, such as teaching them the three R’s: Recognize (that no one can touch where your bathing suit covers), Resist (kick, scream, run) and Report (tell me if anyone is making you uncomfortable, and I promise I won’t be mad at you).

The three R’s make kids safer and take away an abuser’s biggest asset: a child’s silence.

What I learned through my research, though, is that one thing not making kids safer is the public sex offender registry. Study after study keeps showing two things: First, that “stranger danger” is a myth. The vast majority of crimes against kids are committed by people they know.

Second: In New York State, as elsewhere, there’s been no difference in the number of sex offense arrests before and after implementing the public sex offender registry. And yet, it is very scary to send your kids outside once you see a red dot locating a sex offender on your neighborhood map. (Read the full article at New York Daily News)

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  1. Thomas Edward Kuehn

    I would like to move to the Lordsburg,NM. area to be close to my parents.they are 86,and 85. fathers health very poor.I am 68 and a sex offender,the incedent was in 2001.Lam at present petitionlng the courts ln Georgia for release from probation.I have completed all required counciling and pald all fines. I am retired and reieve both social security and 70% disability from the veterans administration.Lwould not be a burden on anyone.what restrictions would this area require me to reside there?I decorated Vietnam veteran and just want to live in peace.I have no spouse or children.I attend AA meetings and have 13 1/2 yrs.sobriety.