Wish i knew the magic words that could change people’s minds. “Oh, i see it happened to you!” is always the most effective.
I HATE the term “sex offender” and try not to use it. There is so much shame involved with carrying the label. Most people, until it happens to them or someone they care about, have no idea what a crazy rabbit hole you go down when one ends up being charged/convicted of a sex crime.
Currently i’m still in court ordered “treatment.” I’ve approached several of the guys about joining RSOL. No one is interested. They are just too beaten down, ashamed and afraid of standing up for themselves. There’s around 850,000 people on the registry and the list keeps growing. Lot’s of potential there. I do what i can- donate to RSOL, spend time every day reading articles and commenting, talking to people i meet and explaining my story, talking about the laws. There are some really startling statistics regarding sex crimes- one that really blows my mind is that the average age of a person CONVICTED of a sex crime is 14. That, right there, is a contraction of the supposed goal of the registry- to protect the vulnerable. Shame on everybody for allowing this to happen.
Even my own family, although somewhat supportive, just doesn’t want to get involved. It’s disappointing. Ignoring the situation will not make it go away. Everyday another lawmaker uses sex crimes for political grandstanding. When the laws/restrictions change they are applied retroactively. That should scare the crap out of anyone with a sex crime conviction!
We are in the middle of a sex crime hysteria. I think a tee shirt is a great idea. ANYTHING that has the possibility of changing the conversation about sex offenders from “they are bad people” to “they are people too, just like me” is a step in the right direction. The trick is, i think, in those types of discussions to keep your cool. It’s hard- on both sides of the issue- to not let emotion run wild.
Anybody who studies sex crimes knows the current laws do not work and may even contribute to abuses. The trick is to somehow tamp down people’s emotions so we can all do the right thing.
Your son is very lucky to have you for a mother.
PS) Me, being caught in a “bait and switch” sting would like to see a shirt that says “John Walsh is a Sex Offender”. Because he is. But that’s a rant for another day…