Victim: SO parents shouldn’t be alone with their own children

By Sandy . . . “Rape victim pushes for stronger child protection” (Asbury Park Press, 6/22/17) makes the case, through the eyes of a victim of familial sexual assault, for legislation that would require any person required to register on New Jersey’s sex offender registry to be supervised when he or she is with his or her own child.

I totally empathize with the former victims of any crime. I am glad that Ms. Anselmo came forward and was able to get justice. Victims of such crimes begin their healing process when they report the abuse, and perpetrators begin their healing process when they are held accountable.

Then, once a former offender has been adjudicated, has satisfied or is satisfying the conditions of his sentence, and is not breaking any laws, a former victim has no right to influence what he does in his life.

Victims’ advocate Laura Ahearn with Parents for Megan’s Law, in support of the proposed legislation, is being disingenuous when she suggests that those on the registry having families and children is a new phenomena. As researcher and expert Dr. Jill Levenson reports, many had families prior to their convictions. At least a third of those on the registry are juveniles or were placed on the registry for actions that occurred when they were juveniles, many 20 and 30 years ago, and have spotless records since. Do Anselmo and Ahearn think they did not grow up, marry, and have children? Do they really think that they should now be constrained from participating fully in the lives of their children?

Virtually all sexual abuse of children is committed, as was that of Anselmo, by family members or others close to the victims in their everyday lives. When desired by all relevant persons, the therapy model that offers the most hope for recovery for both victims and perpetrators is that of family reunification. Would Anselmo remove that option from those who want it with the passing of a bill that reduces parents who are on the registry to that of a somewhat unwelcome visitor in their children’s lives?

The children of those on the registry already have much to deal with and overcome. They are victims of harassment at school and from peers; many have seen their parents, homes, cars, and even themselves made targets of vigilantes, vandalism, and violence. Some already suffer the indignity of their parents having special conditions or restraints when they come to their schools for activities or meetings. What Anselmo and Ahearn propose will further alienate registered parents from the lives of their children, increasing the chances of the children becoming high-risk for many negative consequences.

Dr. Levenson has participated in a study investigating the consequences of the registry to the children who have a parent on it; the risks are real and many.

Jackie Anselmo says she wants to help other kids. The best way she can do that is continue in her own healing process, take care of her own children, and allow parents who are on the sex offender registry and are doing their very best to be positive role models for their children, provide for them, and participate to the fullest extent possible in their lives to do so.



Sandy Rozek

Written by 

Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

7 Thoughts to “Victim: SO parents shouldn’t be alone with their own children”

  1. AvatarJeremy Heady

    Geez, in some jurisdictions, registered parents can’t attend school functions or take their kids to the park. I would be willing to assume that there is not one case of a former offender abusing their own kids after they are free. Therefore, this legislation does nothing but punish the offender more (which is obviously the stance of Parents for Megan’s Law as it always has been) and punish their children (who have done nothing wrong) by effectively taking away one of their parents. Parents for Megan’s Law is a terrorist organization.

  2. AvatarRetta

    I am so happy to see that there are other people besides me that actually have common sense when it comes to SO registry. I think people just assume that if someone is on the registry they are pedophiles and nothing could be further from the truth. We, as a country, need to back off the sex offender frenzy.

  3. AvatarTim L

    I would caution readers of NARSOL about the nature of and its ownership by Gannet. A fairly complete breakdown of Gannet and its many subsidiaries can be found on Wikipedia. My research about this media conglomerate revealed a predatory history. These types of media outlets cannot be trusted as they are about making money first had balanced reporting second. These are the “dishonest media” described by president Trump.

  4. AvatarJust a floor lamp is all in the corner

    Mommy? Daddy?


    Who is that person over there? Why are they always here in the house?

    It is just the government watching over us making sure we don’t step out of line. Don’t worry, pretty soon you won’t even notice them. They will be like a lamp in the corner of the room.

    But why are they here?

    Because we wanted to have you in our family. The government thinks they need to rule the house and everything that goes on in the house.

    I don’t like that. That is creepy. Make them go away!!

    (In your best Rod Serling voice with a lit cigarette) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the child grows up in an unnatural childhood, fearing people and not knowing who to trust or not in the latest episode of the Government Zone

  5. AvatarPunished for a Lifetime

    My husband of almost 26 years had to register as a sex offender recently for a non violent sex offense. Him being on the registry has done more damage to our marriage than him committing a crime has. It is a daily struggle for me to stay with him and not for the crime he committed but because we are constantly facing new issues with the registry. He was recently told he had ten days to be out of our home of 16 years because we live too close to a school. We still have one child in the home who is in high school and I am fearful that everyone at school will find out, etc. I worry about when our child is a senior and we have senior night for sports; what will we do? What about when we have grandkids? My husband will never be able to go to any of their school activities (we are a lifetime registry state). We as a society try to be so politically correct that we have lost sight of common sense. Everyone needs to be concerned about this–we are the “family next door” and if this can happen to us it can happen to anyone.

    1. AvatarMaestro

      The average American family lives in the denial that it can happen to anyone. Until one of their high school age kids gets nabbed for “sexting”. Then they cry and beg for forgiveness because they’re all such “special snowflakes” who can do no wrong.

      As for the lifetime registry in certain states, those states should all be sued for cruel and unusual punishment and the argument should be that we throw the politicians’ own rhetoric in their faces saying that;

      We should all stop claiming this country was built on Christian values since the god of the Christian bible, along with the Jesus of said bible offered forgiveness. Where is the forgiveness from all of you politicians who keep using “God” in your moral judgements and your electoral runs?

      Political correctness is a cancer. Much like feminism. Feminism NEEDS victims and if they don’t have enough of them, they start making them up. Like all the college campus rapes that turned out to be FALSE.
      Anyone remember the woman who carried a mattress around on campus? The extent these people will go through to make fools of themselves is unfounded.
      Common sense is nonexistent in today’s society.

  6. AvatarGrace

    I am sorry for the victim and understand the lasting harm this causes. However to try to continue to destroy the lives of people that you know nothing about is incredibly wrong. My sister is a victim of sexual abuse yet she has spoken to me about people that she knows that are on the registry for such offenses as urinating in public and downloading child pornography. She is very much aware even though she is a victim that is not the same as what happened to her as a child. We need to wake up and look at what we are doing to families and how destructive this type of broad brush legislation is. I personally will never understand how we have become such a vindictive society where we want to apply legislation against people we know nothing about. The person did his time. Is this protection or is being vengeful? we need justice based on fact not emotion.

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