Neighborly Dilemma: My New Neighbor Is a Sex Offender
Checking the map of registered sex offenders in our neighborhood was no big deal. I do it at least four or five times a year, being sure to make a mental note of the houses on my map with the red dots over them. There are usually a few red dots but they have always been at least a mile away from where I live. So, when a friend called and told me to go check the neighborhood for offenders, I thought it was not going to tell me anything I didn't already know.
Boy was I wrong.
This time, when I checked I found two red dots within a two block radius of my home. I wondered, what exactly was his crime? I clicked on the red dot and began to read through the information provided about this person. I stopped reading after reading his victims were 12-14 year old girls. I felt like I was going to be sick.
My head was spinning.
At first, all I could think was that I had to warn my friends and neighbors. We have lots of kids in the area and the thought of not knowing was scary. I couldn't decide what to do. I knew this family. I knew the wife and I've met their children. They had just moved here two months ago and I began to feel sorry for the wife.
I read over the details again. He was added to the sex offender list six years ago. Maybe the family moved, hoping for a fresh start. I imagined how it horrible it must feel to know the entire neighborhood knows your business -- judging you -- and your family. Will no one let their kids play or be friends with the offender's children?
Maybe he's had all kinds of counseling and maybe he believes he can change. All I know is that research shows that most sex offenders keep offending in one way or another. That's why the Sex Offender Registry was started in the first place.
Would you shout it from the roof tops, in the hopes of protecting our children? Would you tell only close friends or would you consider yourself well-informed and leave it at that? Would you let your kids play together and would you still be friends?
I have to admit my attitude right now is this: They may feel judged and uncomfortable...but that's NOT my problem. I bet his victims would rather feel "judged and uncomfortable" than feeling Violated. I don't want my children anywhere near that family. I dont want any children put in harms way. I think every mom needs to know about the sex offender living down the street. If that makes things tough for the sex offender's family, I'm sorry but I really don't care. Better safe than sorry.
What would you do if a sex offender moved in next door to you?
Photo Credit: wangster.