What’s a mother to do?
In reality, this should be, “What can parents do?” Answer: Lots!
I heard a story on the news a few weeks ago about a family finding out via the local news that they were living next door to a registered sex offender. This sex offender had volumes of child pornography in his home. The woman, who was holding a six month old baby on her lap as she was being interviewed, was visibly “freaked out” about this discovery. When faced with something like this, the typical reaction is, “Get me out of here!” This is absolutely normal.
The Sex Offender Registry is a great tool when buying a home to help you identify any registered sex offenders living in the neighborhood being considered. The thing to keep in mind is that sex offenders only register themselves when they have been caught, charged and convicted. And it’s left up to the offender to register himself/herself each time they move.
What about the ones who haven’t been caught or don’t keep their registry entry up-to-date? There’s also a few who steal identities and register themselves at the addresses of others. So while this registry is a good tool, it’s not the end-all of tools. Yes, it’s great to know where those who have been convicted and keep their registry entries up-to-date live in order to avoid buying a house near them, but unfortunately, there’s more parents must do.
Parents must ensure that they know the behaviors and grooming techniques of offenders who prey on children so they don’t inadvertently invite one into their own children’s lives. They need to be Alert Adults. They need to join the mothers, dads and grandparents who are taking charge of their children’s safety and not assuming they “got this one”. For more information about becoming an Alert Adult, visit our website at www.alertadults.org.
By Connie Fabian-Isaacs, Board President