The link above is the title of an article written by Lauren Sedam with the Omaha World-Herald. The subject matter covered goes to the heart of one of the biggest arguments against the registry and public disclosure of registrant’s information: most child sexual assault cases are perpetuated by a trusted individual, not a stranger.
If strangers don’t pose the risk, then public registries are useless. However, this story nearly completely ignores this point. From the article:
About one in five girls and one in 10 boys are sexually abused, she said. Offenders, Jensen said, are master manipulators. They are rarely strangers, and they often work their way into children’s lives slowly, making both children and parents comfortable. “Stranger danger is OK, but if that’s the only thing you talk to your kids about, you’re missing the majority of risk,” Jensen said.
First, the one-in-five number is a huge fallacy, perpetuated by surveys done by groups like the CDC and others that ask questions like “have you ever had sex while drunk, sleeping, or times where you couldn’t consent?” Most people have had sex while drunk, but if you’re female, they want to consider it rape/assault.
These studies are done to perpetuate a perception that there is a problem so that funding can be grabbed for prevention of the “problem”.
Second, “Stranger danger is OK”? Its not OK. The piece doesn’t cite the fact that over 90 percent of sexual assault cases are committed by trusted family and friends. Do we focus all our attention on preventing car accidents on less than 10 percent of what causes them? We do not. Drunken driving, distracted driving, and other factors cause a huge portion of the fatal accidents in the U.S. There are virtually no education or preventative measures taken to help prevent hitting deer or handling manufacturer defects. Focusing on former offenders with registries and fear-mongering campaigns is tantamount to focusing all of our traffic-safety efforts on preventing collisions with deer.
Why do they ignore the FACTS?