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March 20, 2007

Comments

Excellent points. Another important factor is whether there will be a strong effort to prevent juveniles from becoming sex offenders in the first place. Children need basic education about appropriate boundaries (including teaching children that coercion is a type of force) and teens need education about who is too young or too vulnerable to have any sexual contact with at all.

Unfortunately, many people are opposed to this sort of preventative education because they believe it encourages children to have sex. They don't realize that these programs can help children who have been sexually abused put a name to what they've experienced.

Thank you for your comment. I think that your point is correct. I also think that it's not only kids who have been sexually abused who can benefit from sexual abuse/assault prevention programs or sex education. Current fashions, entertainment, etc., have led to the hyper-sexualization of young persons (and when I say young, I mean tweens, not just teenagers). It may be hard to come of age in a time when one sees sex acts (including violence) and hears euphemisms, but doesn't quite understand what they are being presented. So, I agree with you; we should teach prevention (and not just assume that abstinence is an educational message), and even demystify the sexualized material that youth see. Then, maybe youth can understand the difference between sex and violence, empathize with victims of sexual assault, and identify the costs and consequences of engaging in these acts.

You make some very interesting points. For nearly a year, my neighborhood has been fighting a juvenile sex offender treatment facility from forcing itself into our residential neighborhood. They intend to stick 94 convicted sex offenders, like the sodomizing babysitter you mentioned, among three daycare centers, elderly widows living alone, and defenseless disabled neighbors, etc. We have lots of information on the downside of this issue on our website - http://www.millelacsnews.com

Thank you for your comment, Hannabelle. While I understand your concern over the safety of your neighborhood and it's citizens, I do, wholeheartedly, believe in the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. There are things that people don't want in their communities, the proverbial "not in my back yard" politics of urban sprawl. However, by treating and rehabilitating these juvenile offenders, they will hopefully become active citizens in what seems to be your already civically engaged community. Quite frankly, these treatment facilities are exactly what I had in mind for the babysitter who I mentioned in my blog post. (Granted, not necessarily in your community.) I'm afraid I don't have a real answer for you because there are things we each do or don't want to live near.

I wish you and your community the best in this situation, and hope that everyone in the community possesses a perception of personal safety and is truly safe.

I sincerely believe in rehabilitation! When people young or old commit heinous crimes against other people, especially the violent sexual crimes, it literally sends me into a mental hissy-fit, if you will, when others are hurt. I don't like it. But, I believe that people can change with the right kind of help. And yes, it has it very close to home...yes!

I've personally known people to turn their lives around just because they had another chance.

I'm not at all comfortable with passing any laws that will eventually catapult into trying young adults ( 13 to 17) as adults, and sending them to prison for 3/4 of their lives. If we're honest our curiosity has gotten the best of us on some ocassions due to the indiscretions of our youth. When we look back we wonder, "What the heck was I thinking?".

Chemical imbalance? Simply young and stupid as a dirt rock under water!

No, I'm not condoning illicit and intentional acts of violence for the consistent, focused predator, but first offenders are or will be caught in this net as well. It will become sketchy as to what defines a sexual offense.

A simple innocent compliment or comment can land you in a lot of trouble these days...

God help us!

Ray Robinson Sr.

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