Seeking Registered Humans! Tell Your Story!

By Brenda….

NARSOL is proud to announce a new project: Registered Humans.

As advocates, we are daily faced with stereotypes of “sex offender” that are completely inadequate to show the broad range of persons who are required to register. These stereotypes create monsters instead of flawed human beings trying to turn their lives around. This flawed public opinion is at the root of our flawed laws and also creates huge challenges for persons on the registry, who often feel hopeless and alone.

Registered Humans is an opportunity for persons who are on the registry to show their better side — their humanity — and share how they have built new lives for themselves, found support, and overcome many hurdles.

We encourage people on the registry from all walks of life who have been offense free for a year or more to participate in the Registered Humans project by writing a short “snapshot” of their life: the contribution they make to society; their family life; what brings them happiness now; and their accomplishments, hopes and dreams. Our goal is to provide encouragement to other registrants and break the stereotypes that hold registrants down. We hope such stories will help outside readers see who people on the registry really are and at the same time help other registrants who might benefit from their journey and vision for the future.

We will screen and post the stories that seem to most advance the goals of the project. All stories must include either a full or partial true name and a candid photo. The reason for this is that we are hoping this will be just phase one of the Registered Humans project. Phase two would involve creating video vignettes which are used as public service announcements.

To learn more or to share your story, please go to humans.narsol.org.

Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Brenda is NARSOL's executive director. She is also the layout editor for the Digest, serves as affiliate coordinator for our affiliates, contacts, and advocates, and oversees special projects such as Fearless, the state WIKI, and Humans on the Registry.

23 Thoughts to “Seeking Registered Humans! Tell Your Story!”

  1. Trish

    Of course this is necessary! People do nothing but continually judge! So they do not care that it is unjust to expect people to exasperate themselves to prove an ex offender is just that…an ex offender! People who are self righteous always want others to prove the impossible! You can tell all about you but if people want to devalue you. Asked on what they feel is good enough! This a problem of the law for it is this institution that sets the guidelines and basis for society to follow! The bottom line is the law never had a right to open the door of bias prejudice through public registry! End of story! Ex criminals will never be treated fairly unless the letter of the law protects and governs properly toward all citizens! The end! Thanks!

  2. Tim L

    Not merely registered, but more truly indentured to state machines and their maintenance!
    These are the realities of servitude to machines!

  3. Jeremy Heady

    I would like to see some research on this to see if its benefits outweigh the costs. By putting a name and picture on the story, it could just give the haters another way to find out about our status online. While I appreciate the goal of NARSOL in this program, I feel that it has too much potential to be misused.

    I have stated before in comments here that I firmly believe that the majority of people could care less about us or our struggles. The few that pretend to care seem to only care about the registrants with the lesser offenses. Of course, there are those with someone they know and love on the registry which changes their perceptions. This is why I advocate for pushing the facts that registration and shaming are harmful to society as a whole. I could be wrong though.

    1. Raj

      Many people do not know and care, however, by humanizing the labeled citizens, people may see that they are not monsters that media likes to portray. we all make mistakes and many in the registry are there for minor offenses.

  4. RP

    It takes away from the other side the ability to paint registrants in whatever way they want without challenge.

    It gives registrants a way to speak for themselves and about themselves. If supported and nurtured this has massive potential.

  5. NH Registrant

    A partial name and a photo eliminates my participation, sadly. I live in a small town area and there are far too many possibilities for repercussions when telling my story of how a set of ambitious people planted evidence in my case and got away with it. Those very people have ascended to leadership roles in each of their fields and I’m not the only person who they did it to. They have this area sewn up through ignorance and fear-mongering. So, putting my story with my name and my picture would be putting an even bigger target on my back and my family’s backs.

  6. BOHICA in CT.

    A very interesting Project. However, will it be brought before the one’s who can implement change? Will it be actually received by those in high places, and those who have not committed this crime and see the injustice being brought to bear upon us? Sadly I don’t believe it will. I also recognize the fact that change comes -s-l-o-w-l-y in this area. With People like Justice Alito purposely spreading fear, hate and purposely misrepresenting the stats, the system will continue its witch hunt will unrestrained abandon. I have 8 years left on the registry, and it seems an eternity away.

  7. Thomas Darby

    What if my life and health have been totally destroyed by prison and the registry? That I see no hope of returning to the well-liked, respected tour bus driver I had been for years? All this for crimes that were comparatively minor. My ex-wife continues to harass me, ruining my chances to get help, 20 years later; my own son, now 43, calls me a P.O.S. on Facebook. I have tried to just survive, from homelessness to living in a 35-year-old non-running RV with no heat, hot water, or even a toilet.My income from disability equals about $4.58 an hour. Yes, I committed the crimes. But I did the time. At 65 and ill, I can’t get public housing or help with my situation. I’m not a murderer, never robbed anyone, led a decent life. But I am a leper because I’m a sex offender! –so, do you want REAL stories??

    1. sandy

      We are sorry for the troubles you face, and certainly our fight is for the civil rights of all persons facing such hardships long after their sentences are complete. We encourage you to share your story on our Tales from the Registry blog. (http://www.talesfromtheregistry.org/) This is where folks can point out their personal – or national! – grievances with public registries and with other draconian laws.

      With “Humans” we are taking a different tack. There ARE people who have found a way forward in spite of these hardships. They are an inspiration to others that all hope is NOT lost after a sexual offense conviction. These folks have managed to contribute meaningfully to their communities and rebuild their lives, breaking the stereotypes society has.

      We hope they will mention the hurdles they have faced and continue to face, but more importantly, we want to show the world that they are “regular folks” anyone would be proud to know – not monsters.

      Hope that helps to clarify what Registered Humans is about!

  8. MG

    In my state if a registered person publicly announced that they had become successful post conviction in a particular bussiness or industry the powers that be would some how make it illegal for said registrant or any future registrant to participate in said industry or bussiness. Or they would say see they can make it just as things are so why reform these unconstitutional inhuman laws.

  9. Kat

    Name and picture? What? Are you kidding?
    Those on the registry have suffered enough, their name and picture are already on the registry along with so much more personal info.
    Why would you ask them to subject themselves to the possibility of more harassment or violence? Are you going to take responsibility for whatever consequences occur?
    I understand the basic premise, put a face to the label so that people will see that these are not “monsters” but ordinary people, however, those who are saddled with this label of SO may have jobs and families that will be put at risk with this idea. The general public will not care, it’s like pet adoption photo’s and blurbs, for the most part the public reads it, thinks “oh, so sad” and moves on.
    Personally, and I only speak for myself, I think this is a bad idea. Write the stories, that’s fine, but don’t expect SO’s to lay down their lives more than they already do.

    1. I must say, I agree with Kat here. I will share my story as TNF 13, or not at all. The reactions are not rational, and I will not become a horror story for the sake of changing policies. I must draw the line and do what is safe for me, and for many, many offenders with any kind of support system, the overwhelming advice will be the same as I have received: Keep your head down.

      There are some crimes that have public sympathy, and even they get the irrational responses. I value my job and the progress I have made, and it would not be wise to intentionally put myself in a risk situation. The same is true for many, if not most, RSO’s. Rather than a public sympathy campaign, it would be wiser to stick to the facts and calming, rational language. I will be sharing my more frank stories come September… you can watch with me as I receive the fallout from it, then you can ask me to share my real name.

      TNF 13
      Advocate for the Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

      1. rwvnral

        While this opportunity is not for everyone, NARSOL believes it’s important to respect the wishes of people who DO want to have their names and faces associated with a more positive narrative about their human dignity. Nobody is being made to participate in this option. But the project serves no meaningful purpose without the value of self-revelation and transparency. As Sandi has commented already, Tales from the Registry (http://www.talesfromtheregistry.org/) has been available for years as an appropriate forum for people to express themselves without revealing who they really are. That forum remains available and will continue to be supported. But there have been quite a few people over the years who have wanted to do even more to present a positive, dignified illustration to the public that “life on the registry” does not have to be defined by fear, failure, hiding and despair. In fairness to those people–and to provide them with a suitable platform–this project will continue. All we ask is that the people who are willing to take such a bold step are not berated or maligned by their brothers and sisters who choose to remain more discreet. That’s simply a matter of respect.

      2. Do you know how many human interest stories have been aired in the past two years? Do you know what the reactions are? Do you watch the comments when they do a series on civil commitment, or a storytelling time with a registrant? If you want to make a difference, plug Untouchable. Collect money to show it to policymakers, youth serving organizations, prevention programs, and those with power. You need to get three kinds of people to listen: Those that form policy, those that inform policy, and those that inform the public. Those three groups are most adept at reaching people, because they know exactly how to spin it so that people will buy it. By comparison, the work you, I, Derek Logue, or anyone else does is child’s play. Convince the experts, they have been doing it for years.

        I have all kinds of respect for people that choose, of their own volition and do their own pushing, to tell their stories with their real names. But that respect must run both ways: Those of us who use pseudonyms should not be maligned for not going public with a real name. I have serious doubts about involving my advocacy in any kind of public campaign that could impede someone’s mental health, particularly someone who has committed a sex crime. If you want to take that risk, then that is on you, and you can live with whatever consequences there are. I for one remember a man named Galen Boughman and the support I lent him, and I will not be going there again.

        TNF 13
        Advocate for the Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

      3. rwvnral

        “For the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

        56 men signed the Declaration of Independence with their REAL names. All of them knew that the penalty would be death if they were captured by the British.

        Five were captured as treasonous traitors to the crown and violently tortured before they died.

        Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.

        Two sacrificed their sons who served in the American Army.

        Nine died from wounds or hardships during the NINE years of war that followed.

        Happy Fourth of July!

  10. Rajendra

    It seems rather than saying registered citizens, “Labeled citizens” should be used. After all, people, especially those in minority, have been subjected to labeling and persecution throughout the human society.

    1. rwvnral

      Good suggestion, Rajendra.

    2. Registry Rage

      How about “private citizens” or “civilians?”

      “Labeled citizens” is by no means a euphemism for sex offender.

      It’s still dehumanizing and promotes marginalization.

  11. david

    Nice project! When i first found RSOL 4 years ago it was cuz i needed positive stories just to know one could still have a life…otherwise why go on living? I’s sure most of us have faced that choice.

    And to want to live one cannot be miserable all the time. 4 years after my arrest i’m doing OK. Probably better than 90 to 95% of folks on the registry.

    I’m more than half way with writing my little essay and look forward to sharing it. Hopefully more folks participate. Only way to change is to own it.

    Are you doing OK? If so, HOW are you doing it?

  12. Trevor Sisk

    Tell our story why? For people to feel sorry for us? Not necessary (and not possible). So that people will “understand” us? I don’t expect people to understand why I broke the law. I’m sorry this theme comes up every now and then, and I believe when we “tell” our story in public we lessen our cause, not strengthen it. Where do we get that this is effective and a good idea? Save your story for your therapist and trusted adults who are interested. Otherwise, stop talkin about it, demand that the law treat you fairly and dont’ ever do it ever again! That’s all the public cares about. No one cares about your nasty, sordid story. We all have one and they are all horrible. Forget that story, don’t ever tell it again and Start Telling a NEW story!! Now THAT’s a good idea AND effective. Registered Humans…. are we for real? What’s next, T-shirts?!

    1. Fred

      Exactly “Start telling a NEW story” It sounds like you agree with this project.
      “We encourage people on the registry from all walks of life who have been offense free for a year or more to participate in the Registered Humans project by writing a short “snapshot” of their life: the contribution they make to society; their family life; what brings them happiness now; and their accomplishments, hopes and dreams. ”

      Don’t worry, you can keep your sordid stories to yourself and you don’t even have to talk about your case.

  13. rpsabq

    The name Registered Humans sends the exact wrong message and if we would all really start calling ourselves that, it would be a PR nightmare. People already question if we really do mean what the Disclaimer to the left says. It would like murderers calling themselves Human Displacers..<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    1. Fred

      Currently our name is “sex offender”, “monster”, and several other names I can’t bring myself to type. I am glad someone is pointing out that we are human beings too.

      You think that is bad?

Leave a Comment