SEX OFFENDER CHILD CUSTODY ACT - Protect Our Children Now!!
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We propose that a new law be put into effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that would prevent a Convicted Registered Sexual Offender from having custody of a minor child, regardless of relation, with the exception of those individuals protected by the "Romeo and Juliet Law". We respectfully request that we name the law "The Sex Offender Child Custody Act".
We also propose that a convicted sex offender may only have supervised visitation of children under 18 and may not be granted any visitation under any other circumstances.
Megan's Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of our local communities may protect themselves and their children. Registered Convicted Sexual Offenders are not permitted by law to be in any public area where children reside and yet here, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania they are permitted legal custody.
A judge granting custody of a child to a sex offender is placing a child to reside with a sex offender and therefore violating Megan's law. This is an atrocity and an extreme danger to children. Child custody is supposed to be about the best interest of the child. The main focus of child custody is: Where will this child live in a safe and healthy environment that will promote the opportunity to thrive emotionally and physically? We believe that placing any child with a sex offender is exactly the opposite of this goal and must be stopped immediately.
There are many recent cases in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We must enact this law and start protecting our children before something devastating occurs. We must not wait until after the fact.
Please help us and all the families in this situation by getting involved and by helping to pass this law. We are asking that you utilize your position in government and help us prevent a Convicted Registered Sexual Offender from having custody of a child, regardless of relation.
Here are some Key facts to help you better understand why NO child should live with a sex offender.
1. For decades, researchers have found that some sex offenders have interests in—or are aroused to—things that are considered to be outside the realm of healthy or appropriate sexual interests or behavior, including, but not limited to, the following:
A. Engaging in sexual contact with young children or adolescents;
B. Having sexual contact with others against their will or without their consent;
C. Inflicting pain or humiliation on others;
D. Participating in or watching acts of physical aggression or violence;
E. Exposing oneself in a public setting; and/or
F. Secretly watching others who are undressing, unclothed, or engaging in sexual activities.
(Information obtained from the CENTER FOR SEX OFFENDER MANAGEMENT, A Project of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of
Justice, See, e.g., Laws & O’Donohue, 1997)
2. The majority of molested children are perpetrated by family members, close relatives or people who have close proximity to them.
Most of these people are called incest perpetrators because they are family members to the children. What’s been found for these individuals who get reported (incest perpetrators), is that they are likely to have more than one victim, and usually only abuse within their family. (allaboutcounseling.com)
3. Pedophiles are a different class of child molesters and are considered sexual addicts. In spite of their best interests, a pedophile will abuse children as long as there is an opportunity. Many abusers feel guilty. However, for a pedophile, the guilt means very little; it doesn’t prevent them from abusing again, they are obsessed with children and act in addictive ways. (allaboutcounseling.com)
In a very influential study by Abel and his colleagues, several hundred sex offenders were granted federal assurances of confidentiality so that they could disclose to the researchers their full sex offense histories without the possibility of that information being reported to law enforcement. On average, these offenders admitted to having many more victims and offenses that were known to the authorities.
Another study by Freeman–Longo, and Blanchard yielded strikingly similar results, with significantly greater numbers of undetected deviant sexual acts than what were indicated in the official records for these offenders. Something else that was very noteworthy in this particular study was that some rapists of adult women reported that they had also committed sex offenses against children, and some child sexual abusers reported that they had also perpetrated rapes against adult women.
This is referred to as “crossover.” In other words, beyond what we learn about the actual numbers of undetected offenses and victims, we might also learn that there are additional types of deviant or criminal sexual behavior and the types of victims may be different than what is documented in official records. Some individuals have demonstrated problems with sexual deviance across categories of offending behaviors, such as engaging in rape of an adult woman and the molestation of young children.
(Information obtained from the CENTER FOR SEX OFFENDER MANAGEMENT, A Project of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, Abel et al., 1987, Freeman-Longo & Blanchard, 1998)
In 1995, local child protection service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse. Of these, 75% were girls. Nearly 30% of child victims were between the age of 4 and 7. 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker. 34.2% of attackers were family members.
A study in three states found 96% of reported rape survivors under age 12 knew the attacker. 4% of the offenders were strangers, 20% were fathers, 16% were relatives and 50% were acquaintances or friends.
Intrafamily perpetrators constitute 1/3 -1/2 of all perpetrators against girls and about 1/5 of all perpetrators against boys and is more likely to go on over a longer period of time and is shown to have more serious consequences.
(U.S. Department of Justice. 2004 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2004., 1998 Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls. 1998., U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. 1995 Child Maltreatment Survey. 1995., U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000 Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement. 2000. The National Center for Victims of Crimes)
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