From Women Against the Registry

A news release from Women Against the Registry:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/17/14
Contact: Vicki Henry, President Women Against Registry 202.630.0345 contact@womenagainstregistry.com
Women Against Registry is “Pushing Back”

In a recent article published by the Lacrosse Tribune on February 02, 2014, “Rethinking sex offenders: Wisconsin freeing more sex offenders; old recidivism data exaggerated risk” referring to a state civil commitment program, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout states, “We don’t have enough information to say if this program works or if it doesn’t, Is this a good investment of our resources?”

Women Against Registry is asking the same. For more than 20 years now, laws have been created and implemented to stop sexual crimes from occurring, especially against children. In those past years, lawmakers have listened to victims, parents, media and law enforcement which propagated such laws in to existence. We must ask the question, “Was evidence presented, reviewed or sought to build legislation for such laws to be created? Did law makers who were trusted by the American citizens to make our laws research or seek the truth? Did they search for information and evidence from scholars who work with sexually deviate persons? If not, why?”

In a study where 61 legislators where interviewed (one from at least each state), 65% admitted to “policy being written due to high profile cases” some cases not even within the jurisdiction of their own state. Most of the legislation was written from a few high profile cases such as; Megan Kanka, Jessica Lunsford, Adam Walsh and Jacob Wetterling.

Women Against Registry, Inc. was founded in 2011 by wives, mothers, sisters and other family members to bring awareness to the public, lawmakers and the media of the collateral damages that their families are facing due to the existing laws. With well over 769,000 persons on the national sex offender registry, an estimated 2.5 million people are affected by these laws. They are now taking a stand to educate and present empirical research and studies which proves such consequences associated with sex offender laws suggest they may be doing more harm to offenders than they do good for society.

With the publications of numerous studies and empirical research, Women Against Registry is calling for legislators to repeal laws that are creating more harm than they are good for our children and families. We are calling on our trusted leaders to know the evidence and research before writing legislation.

In an effort to present much needed understandings to the effects of these laws on family members, Women Against Registry often cites a research study by Jill Levenson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Services at Lynn University and Richard Tewksbury, Ph.D.,Professor at University of Louisville Department of Justice Administration called Collateral Damage: Family Members of Registered Sex Offenders.

“Researchers have identified ways in which sex offender registration and notification (SORN) laws can impede community reintegration efforts of RSOs and potentially contribute to recidivism. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of SORN laws on the family members of registered sex offenders.”

Noted in the report: out of 446 interviewed 87% of families suffered hardships due to the registrant finding and sustaining employment,out of 437 interviewed 44% have been threatened or harassed, out of 441 interviewed 30% have suffered bodily harm or property damages due to Meagan’s Law Notification. Further research can be cited and quoted by numerous scholars to back the standing of those members of Women Against Registry.

With evidence presented and accessible to the law makers and media, family members are now “Pushing Back” against legislation that hinders the safety of all children and those who love them. It’s time to regulate laws based on evidence and validity rather than those written out of fear of what could or could not happen in the future.

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