Registrants’ children matter too

An advocacy organization called ARM–the anti-registry movement–staged a peaceful protest in Florida on April 22 at the place in Tallahassee where Lauren Book’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event came to completion. The group had made it perfectly clear in media interviews and in all announcements that they were in total agreement with the work Lauren does with sexual abuse healing, education, awareness, and prevention. The protest was not against any of those noble goals, goals that ARM, WAR, SOSEN, and RSOL all share. The protest was against what has been called Florida’s “scorched-earth policy,” a policy whose intent, from all evidence, is to make it a virtual and a literal impossibility for all registered citizens living in Florida to assimilate into a law-abiding society. It is this policy that created residency restrictions so stringent, and with penalties so harsh, that registrants are living in the woods, under bridges, in fields, in railroad yards, and in other places and in such conditions that few of us would allow our pets to endure.

Some members of ARM have attempted to reach out to Lauren Book and dialogue with her and her organization about the facts and evidence laid out through research that contradict a scorched-earth policy. Rather than agree to that or even to acknowledge the areas where the goals of ARM and of Lauren’s Kids are the same, this was posted on the homepage of Lauren’s Kids a few days before the walk’s completion date.

As you may know, there are some organizations that do not agree with Lauren’s Kids’ mission of preventing sexual abuse and healing survivors, or our work in the areas of education, awareness, and advocacy. It has come to our attention that there may be a few members of these organizations who will be in Tallahassee on April 22 to host a peaceful protest in opposition to our advocacy efforts.

Why Lauren would deliberately misinterpret and misconstrue the goal of ARM’s presence in Tallahassee is unclear. Possibly she feels that she is protecting children from abuse by ostracizing not only those who are on the registry but also those who advocate for them, but if so, she is forgetting the lesson she learned with her own situation. As was the case with Lauren’s sexual abuse, those who molest children are very, very seldom on the registry but are rather those with close ties to the children they victimize.

We wish Lauren Book success with her goals of educating families and ending children’s suffering. We further wish–and hope and pray–that at some point in her pursuit of this goal, she comes to the realization that thousands of children are suffering because they have a parent on the registry and that the policies in Florida that she supports are a major contributor to their anguish.

someone outside of NARSOL

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6 Thoughts to “Registrants’ children matter too”

  1. AvatarJohn W.

    It literally makes me heartsick when an organization wants only their own demands met and never consider the collateral damage they’ll cause to an equal or greater amount of innocent people. I don’t understand how any group can say they care for the children who were sexually abused, but at the same time have a cold heart toward these same children who didn’t grow up to become “the well adjusted citizen”. Sometimes I wonder if we can hate so much, that we become blinded to the innocent lives we destroy, or blinded to the fact that we aren’t solving a human problem, but, that we only get to stand before other men like ourselves, who have done no wrong and we praise each other for our fine work in protecting the children. Because we really don’t care about human suffering as much as we care about having a law named after our efforts, or we get votes for our pet politician, or get to be interviewed by the 5 o’clock news to proclaim how smart and great we are, {all for the children, of course). Where is my proof? It’s in the story of Laurens Kids disparaging any other group that might have a slightly different solution than theirs. I’m surprised they didn’t just call the members of ARM, “child abusers”, because that accusation would normally make the opposition shut up and go home.

  2. AvatarDan

    I have first hand experience with Florida polices. I have returned from incarceration in another state after losing 4 1/2 years with my wife and children. All my family now wants is to be together and be left alone. I served my time and my family paid the price too, even though my crime occurred before we were together. According to the State of Florida I can live anywhere since my crime occurred before the law was in effect. However the city like many other cities in Florida says I cannot live inside their limits with my family. Even though we have owned this house and lived in it prior to my incarceration, Now I am not on probation, parole or any supervision but I am treated like a 2nd class citizen in my own country. When I was in the military 40 some years ago we said we were fighting for freedom. Where a person could speak there mind in the streets of America and protest what the government did or did not do. A country that also believed in 2nd chances, rehabilitation not retribution. A country where once you served your time, you moved on with your life and had at least a chance of being a productive citizen. Somewhere in these past 40 + years we have seemed to have lost our way.. It seems now like we have become more like the people who we were against then. The America whose rights I defended no longer protects my rights,nor my families rights. If this Republican controlled state actually believed in “family values and the constitution” as they say they do, then they could not permit this travesty to continue. Unfortunately they do not recognize the difference between the hypocrisy of their actions and the public pontificates they express to us all.

    1. Avatartim

      Well written! Have u ever thought about being a speaker for the rest of us?

  3. AvatarKati

    People don’t understand what this ridiculous registry does to the families, young men forced to plead guilty because their so called public defenders dont want to help. These registered offenders have kids of their own who it follows, families are seperated and these offenders seem to pay the price over and over, maybe there are some that are truly a threat but far too many Im sure are bs laws, a 20 yr old man and alleged sexual misconduct charge with a 16 or 17 yr old, who has reported 3 others in the same year but yet recanted is now being basically tried again because he is brought up in family court issues come on.Intead of rushing to prove their guilt try proving their innocence.

  4. Just one small piece in the fight against AWA, SORNA, and registries nationwide….

  5. AvatarMike

    I wish there was a place that Florida registrants with children could go to meet online and discuss their individual struggles and how they have overcome them.

    I often need that compassion and understanding from another registered person. My child has friends now, but i fear for him in the future.

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