Open letter to Parents for Megan’s Law and Laura Ahearn, Executive Director:
Your site 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 the court-ordered sentence.
Why? All statistics and studies tell us that virtually all children who are sexually assaulted are not victims of an offender already registered. They are 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 authority figures.
This is from the “FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Crimes Against Children: Abductions,” and deals with the odds of a child being taken for a sexual or any other purpose.
“In 2010… less than 1 percent of the abductors were RSOs.
“RSOs contribute to a miniscule part of the child abduction problem. In contrast to media reporting, the number of cases involving a registered sex offender is decreasing. In addition to the FBI reporting, NCMEC has revealed that there were no RSOs involved in AMBER Alert cases in 2009.
“Although abductors can vary in age, race, or physicality, the FBI assesses with high confidence that the majority of child abductors involved in FBI child abduction cases, CARD team deployments, and AMBER Alerts have a relationship with the child victim. Moreover, despite media reporting, the FBI confidently assesses that the majority of child abductions are committed by persons with a relationship to the child they abduct.” http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/august-2011/crimes-against-children-spotlight
If your real concern is the sexual harm being done to children, you have a responsibility to tell parents from where that harm has the far greater risk of coming and give them knowledge and tools to protect their children from the real threat.
RSOL--Reform Sex Offender Laws, Org.
RSOL promotes the elimination of sexual abuse and the preservation of civil rights for all individuals through the use of effective legislation based on empirical research. We envision sexual offense laws based on equal justice and respect for the dignity of all people, protection from retroactively applied punishment, and the establishment of fact-based laws and policies that protect our communities.