For several years we in this country have been concerned about the victims of sexual assaults and abuse… and rightly so. As a result of their family and community support as well as counseling and therapy with fellow mental health professionals, they have been able to overcome their trauma and begin again; more confident in life, and wiser in the bargain.
We at Counseling on Demand have done our share of this counseling. And with similar results.
But what of the offenders? For them the criminal system awaits with arrest, confinement, probation and a lifetime on the Sex Offender Registry; one and all.
However, Sex offenders are not alike. Did you know that acts such as urinating behind a tree is a crime? How about teens who were caught experimenting with sex or, most egregious of all, the arrest of a couple who sent out photos of their bare-bottomed infant to the film developer who turned them in to the authorities for child porn??? We are not talking about predatory pedophiles here. They are a different breed. Rather, we are talking about those with whom we are familiar;
maybe even ourselves or our own children. 95% of the offenses occur in families, churches, scouts, etc.” (Diane Rehm Show, NPR radio, July 7, 2015)
MS. Rehm, explains, “Sex offender registries are designed to help protect the public from pedophiles and others convicted of sexual crimes. The registries warn potential employers, landlords and others about a possible sexual predator in their midst. But some say there are far too many people on these lists who don’t belong there.
For more than 20 years, states have been keeping public lists of convicted sex offenders. These registries are intended to help police and communities monitor the whereabouts of nearly 800,000 pedophiles and others found guilty of sexual crimes. Many people are listed for crimes committed when they were minors and not all are egregious: Sending a lewd text or public urination, for instance, can lead to sex offense charges”.
“We must ask ourselves what is the most important. If it is no more than perpetual revenge and punishment against those who have committed some degree of sexual crime, ranging from the trivial to the serious, then we have it–the public sex offender registry. If we are satisfied with something that is not supported by facts or evidence, something that has no effect on public safety, something that offers no hope to former offenders now living law-abiding lives or nothing in the way of help or prevention for past, present, or future victims, then we have it. If we are satisfied with spending more millions than we can count on something that gives back nothing that benefits safety or people or society–we have it.
If, on the other hand, we want laws and policies based on facts and research, we must look at the facts that research offers and be willing to examine the effectiveness of what we have in the light of those facts. If we want to optimize public safety, support, we must create the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of law abiding, former sex offenders into society, and build effective support systems for former victims and effective prevention programs for present and future ones. We must have meaningful reform. Using that method would better protect by being “proactive” instead of “reactive” and the children would be better protected”.(Excerpts from Diane Rehm and her authoritative guests; Abbe Smith professor of law and co-director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship program at Georgetown University; author of Case of a Lifetime. Jill Levenson associate professor, social work, Barry University, and clinical social worker. Brenda V. Jones executive director, Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. Victor Vieth founder and senior director, Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center)
In a nutshell, all guests on Ms. Rehm’s radio show were advocating for the involvement of proactive mental health professionals to do the job of prevention as well as rehabilitation of the vast majority of these so called sex offenders; in addition, this approach would go a lot further toward the protection of the victims- especially of our children.
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. Victims and rehabilitative offenders need not go through this alone. With our support, you can get through these times while others like us continue to advocate for sex law reform.
We can help. You needn’t leave your favorite/private place. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are there 24/7. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
You may contact us now. Your first consultation is free.
We await your call, email or text directly. If you want a face-to-face, we can Skype you on your computer, cell phone or tablet.