Your program is advertised as an advocacy for children focused on preventing sexual abuse.
Yet this, from your site, tells a very different story: “Most parents and community members believe that they are doing everything they can to protect children from sexual predators but the disturbing reality is that registered sex offenders are obtaining employment and volunteer positions across the country where they can have unfettered access to children.”
This tells me that your focus is on people who have already committed a sexual crime and have served or are in the process of serving their court-ordered sentences. Your very name, Megan’s Law–synonymous with public notification which often translates into public persecution–makes this focus crystal clear.
Why? Statistics and studies tell us that virtually all children who are sexually abused are not random victims of offenders already registered. They are overwhelmingly victims of those in their lives with whom they are comfortable: their family members, their peers—fully a third of those who molest children are themselves children and juveniles—and their authority figures.
Studies show that if we wish to work toward the goal of protecting children, we must focus on the children; we must change our focus to a victim-oriented one, one that stresses prevention through education, awareness, and empowerment programs.
And yet here you are again–or rather, still–“standing with” self-serving politicians “to advocate for stronger sex offender laws.”
This is what you are encouraging and promoting:
Every suggestion that sexual harm to children will be prevented by closely monitoring all on the registry obscures the fact that virtually all such perpetrators are not on the registry.
Every dollar spent registering, tracking, monitoring, and legislating against registered citizens is a dollar not spent educating and empowering parents and victims against the overwhelmingly greater threat.
Every dollar spent impeding registered citizens in their goals of rehabilitation and second chances is a dollar not spent working toward prevention of child sexual abuse.
Every minute focused on those on the registry is a minute not focused on those who are victims of sexual abuse in their own homes and other places in their everyday lives.
Again I ask–Why?
(Republished by permission from Shelly Stow, With Justice for All)