Women Against Registry offers valuable support service

By Serena Solomon . . . Vicki Henry sits at the desk in her two-bedroom duplex on a recent Sunday morning and adjusts her phone headset, which she has nestled on hair with a deep magenta tinge, a rare bit of pizazz for the 72-year-old grandmother of three.

Everyone else in Henry’s working-class neighborhood of Arnold, a southern suburb of St. Louis, is probably at church or finishing up a pancake breakfast with the family. But Henry is on the clock for a job that pays her nothing.

She wears a baggy red T-shirt with “Women Against Registry” and the acronym “WAR” embroidered on it in white thread. Henry runs WAR, an organization whose goal is to abolish the public sex offender registries that exist in every state.

She dials a phone number that showed up as a missed call on WAR’s support line, which receives dozens of calls each month from registrants and families who are in search of emotional and practical support. A woman named Ramona answers. She has spoken with Henry before. Henry asks Ramona for permission to put her on speakerphone so I can ask her questions, and Ramona agrees, asking that I use only her first name to protect the identity of her family. . . .

The WAR support line, Henry says, provides a rare, judgment-free opportunity for family members to verbally process the mixed emotions they have after a loved one is convicted of a sex crime. Other callers are registrants themselves, like the military veteran who was distraught because he feared his children would be bullied if their school friends discovered his name on Virginia’s registry. Another asked for legal advice after an airline refused to let him, his wife, and his children board ahead of a long-planned vacation because of his sex offender status.

Read the full piece here at Vox.

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  • This topic has 4 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 months ago by AvatarAutumn.
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    • #67084 Reply
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      NorthEasternPenn

      Vicki Henry is a wonderful and very caring person. I have had the pleasure of speaking with her several times on the phone and in email correspondence.

      With my personal permission she has forwarded a few of the calls of registrants or families of to me – mainly for moral support and to ask me questions. These are persons that have just been put on the registry or family members of those.

      I follow her online at her website and am a member of the forum there.

      She is very understanding of our lives as registrants and how it affects us and our family and friends. She strives very hard to get others to understand by educating them in the realities of the registry. I donate what I can as I can even if it is only a few dollars as ever penny helps when added up from many registrants etc.

      Vicki, thank you for everything you and your organization do to help us. We so much appreciate it.

    • #67294 Reply
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      Cecilia DuVall

      My son is on the registry, and it has been an absolute roller coaster for our family. My son lives with us because he has had numerous financial issues, including several medical problems that his insurance did not cover. We are helping him with his bills. My daughter lost her dance studio due to the fact that a disgruntled ex student (granddaughter of a sitting Judge) posted a mugshot of my son on Facebook, and rather than trying to hold onto her business, she filed bankruptcy and almost had a nervous breakdown. She loved her students, but could not deal with the aftermath of that revelation. A court date coming up will determine if he goes to jail, or not. I am a devout Christian and believe with all my heart that God’s justice will prevail and he will be allowed to remain on probation. He is a Type 1 diabetic with diabetic retinopathy, and would not survive a jail term.
      I am definitely going to support Narsol, War, and a local organization, Arkansas, Time After Time. This registry insanity has to stop. It’s amazing how someone can commit a murder, serve their sentence, be released and their re-entry into society goes on without a hitch. The registry does everything it possibly can to make sure “sex offenders” are haunted by their “crimes” for a lifetime. They are basically in a 24hr, 365-day virtual prison, along with their families, especially in our case, where our son lives with us. I will become an activist against these archaic laws.

    • #67461 Reply
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      Tim in WI

      Cicilia,
      Make no mistake criminal registries are expanding into many types of criminals. Starting with child offenders was far more about convincing the people of a registry database’s social value. Some refer to the term- virtue signaling. This is about the political advantages wrought via database and control of information. To be sure this particular use is about a electronic foundation upon which to place bars on liberty. The federalists and republicans have struck a deal to secure their two party duopoly – Don Trumps election discarded both established gangs, though most supporters are plain sick of being sold out by each party and fail to grasp the role of the database infrastructure in their discord. Both parties hitched their wagon to the same horse and it has backfired! That being the choice by both to unleash the infrastructure upon the people’s plain liberty for profiteers and politicos elite. Worse yet!, the relational disposition between human criminal and state machine clearly and quickly evolved into human subservience. The fed judge in Alabama described the subservience well, fed judge Matsch in Colorado described the electronic snooping advantages gained by LEO via disclosure of email addresses and other IDs, and the fed judges in NC V Grady identified continuous electronic search via SBM or satellite based monitoring. Grady had crimes occuring in his own home. Most child porn cases of downloading occurs at the offenders home. The internet for n a sense has destroyed notions of jurisdiction and sovereignty. This does not bode well for human kind.

    • #67655 Reply
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      Autumn

      I am in the same boat with you. My son is currently in prison for a non contact offense. He was found with two short video clips on his home computer. He was on 5 year community control that was so strict that no one could ever really complete it without violating it somehow. He was subject to random lie detector tests that are unconstitutional to begin with, he had to do all his grocery shopping at night, he couldn’t eat at family restaurants but he couldn’t eat out at tavern grills either. The police would show up to his place of employment to check his computer and eventually was fired for it. Every time we would go out to eat, it was at an expensive golf club just so we could stay within the strict confines of community control.

      He lives in a big city but cant live within 1000 feet of a daycare or school and many offenders in this city are homeless because of that law alone. I am going to have to sell my home and find one in a rural area and then hire an attorney so he can change counties to live with me. I cannot afford a house in the county he lives in now.

      The registry is nothing more than continued punishment and harassment for not only the offender, but the offenders entire family! When they talk about recidivism, we need to look at how the registry contributes to it. Recidivism does not always look like the first crime committed. It often looks like drug and alcohol addiction, failure to register an address because there isn’t one, unemployment issues, and depression issues. Rarely are the proceeding offenses sex related.

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