For many people their awareness of the pervasiveness of rape and other sex crimes is close to nil until they find out a registered sex offender lives near them or will be moving into their neighborhood. Beliefs in the same myths which result in people refusing to believe many rape allegations result in people reacting to registered sex offenders as if they are all monsters.
Starting next month, sex offenders released from prison will also have to wear satellite tracking devices if the new rules are upheld. Opponents of Jessica's Law said the new rules will only confuse the public and give Californians a false sense of security.
Sex offenders in California's biggest cities may not be able find any housing that's not within 2,000 feet of a school or park.
"We're concerned that offenders will be pushed out of those urban areas where they can be monitored and supervised into rural areas where there are less law enforcement and less supervisions and less ability to manage higher numbers of offenders," said Suzanne Brown McBride of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Prison officials said 350 sexual offenders are released from prison every month in California.
Because of the mix of denial (it's not happening in my neighborhood) and awareness (online sex offender search engines) it's no surprise that plenty of people want to banish registered sex offenders somewhere far away from them so they live in a neighborhood free of sex offenders. It's also no surprise that there isn't an equally ardant push to invest in prevention efforts that focus on reducing the number of first-time offenders.
Monsters are born not made. Or so the story goes. Prevention through education aimed at those children who are most likely to become sex offenders is a waste of money and an insult to good kids. Prevention should be directed at the potential victims so they can be on guard against the monsters.
When it comes to the education of potential offenders we have no problem teaching children not to steal and not to hit others so why are so many people opposed to teaching children that there is no excuse for hurting others through sexual contact? Why are we so afraid to teach boys that it is wrong to use any sort of manipulation or force to get sex or to make sexual contact? Why do so many people call boys weak when they show emotions that aren't stereotypically male? Why aren't more boys learning how to have empathy for people different than them so they will understand the ramifications of their actions before they are accused of rape?
Maybe it's just easier to avoid uncomfortable topics like sex until the harm has been done and a boy has learned from a buddy the most effective ways to get sex that isn't offered freely.
But is easier really better?
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism