Letter to the Editor: Understanding sex offenders

Working with sex offenders and lecturing on this subject at local colleges, I was surprised at the misconceptions by the public regarding sex offenders.

Most state they thought that registered sex offenders were the “worst of the worst-pedophiles”. Hopefully, Ms. Kleimo dispelled this misguided thinking. “Who are these we call sex offenders?” Feb. 1.

A sex offender is your son, your brother, your husband; men/women/juveniles/children that you know and love, and who used poor judgment or lacked impulse control. Most offenders committed various offenses, some lesser, some greater, unknowingly or knowingly.

Our men and women are the same as they always were. Our laws have changed radically. What was once acceptable, no longer is. Only a tiny percentage of pedophiles are on the registry since perpetrators are seldom reported.

Statistics from Rainn.org: ‘Yearly 63,000 child sexual abuse cases have been substantiated, or strong evidence found by Child Protective Services showing that: 80 other relatives, 5 were partners of a parent.’

Statistics vary and have “lag” time, but they are still an indicator of truth. Instead of focusing on those on the sex offense registry as monsters, beware of the “devil you know”. Safeguard your children from them.

Margaret Hawkins
Newark