Amend the Sex Offenders Registration Act to protect children in split family households
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Petition to amend the Sex Offenders Registration Act in SA to protect children in split family care arrangements
My story is a personal one for my family. I have two beautiful children who are the light of mine and my partner’s life. My ex-partner and I share joint custody of our children week on week off.
Nearly a 1 year ago, our life changed dramatically.
After coming home from a family holiday, I discovered a calling card in my letterbox from SA police. In the coming days, the police informed me that my ex-partner was living and having a relationship with a convicted child sex offender. My children were aware of this man (but not his criminal past) and had welcomed him into their life for the previous 3 months.
I was also informed that this man had told my ex-partner about his past and crimes and they both chose not to disclose this to me because they knew I would be upset and ‘over-react’. This is where it gets interesting. Under the current legislation in South Australia, The Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006, the offender only has to disclose their past and crimes to ‘each parent or guardian of the child who generally resides in the same household as the child’. This means, he did legally what was required of him under the current legislation.
Where does this leave the rights of ‘the other parent’ of split families co-parenting equally? Where are my rights as a parent to ensure my children are free from harm and potential risk in their own home?
Had the police not came to my door informing me of the past of this offender, I fear that I would never have found out!
As a parent, I realise that my children may be exposed to risks and unsavoury behaviour from adults in their everyday life that I cannot control, but in their own home I have a right to ensure they are not at risk and they deserve to be safe.
My only option has been to proceed through Family Law court in an effort to stop this monster having access to my children. My voice has no sound under the current legislation.
I do not want my children to become victims to this perpetrator. Please support me before something happens for it to be addressed by government.
I urge the law makers in South Australia to look at this legislation and stop discriminating against children in split family living arrangements. Amend the legislation to reflect all care arrangements and ensure that all registered sex offenders inform each parent, regardless of where the child lives, of their past crimes.
I ask the Honourable Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, to address this gap in legislation urgently.
I ask the Honourable Susan Close, Minister for Education and Child Development, to address this gap in legislation urgently and support vulnerable children before they become victims.
I ask the Honourable John Rau, Attorney General, to look at the legislation and change it to stop discriminating split family living arrangements and allow each parent to make informed decisions about their children.
I ask the Honourable Mark Butler, Federal member for Port Adelaide, to call upon South Australian officials to address my concerns in this matter.
I ask Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, to call upon South Australian officials to address my concerns in this matter.
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