Wednesday, December 4, 2013

If you are a family member of a registered "sex offender", here is a chance to speak out

Speak up, speak out!
The following was posted on Facebook and shared here.

Dear family member of a sex offender,

I’m a journalist who is working on a larger project,

I’m working on a book proposal whose working title is Families in the Cross-Hairs: Collateral Damage from America’s 20-Year War on Sex Offenders. It’s designed to tell the stories of sex offenders’ loved ones (wives, sons, daughters, parents)—the discrimination, abuse, and worse that many have suffered as a result of living with someone on the sex offender registry (documented in Levenson and Tewksbury’s study of this issue in 2009, which I’m sure you’re aware of). It also will share stories about how family members have become active in the fight to reform sex offender laws (through organizations like USAFAIR, RSOL, and WAR) and the small victories they’ve achieved to date.

I’m contacting you because I’m putting together the lead chapter for the book and am looking for family members willing to share their stories about what it’s like to live in a home with someone who’s on the registry. I well know the risks that these folks live with--so while it would be great to speak with people who are willing to use their real names, I understand and can include the stories of people who cannot do so.

Below this email, I’ve included sample questions of the type that I’d be seeking answers to in talking with people, though obviously my follow up questions would change depending on the specifics of each family’s circumstances.

And again about me: I'm a magazine reporter who has written stories on sex offender laws for The American Prospect (http://prospect.org/article/life-list), Good (http://www.good.is/post/a-new-way-to-treat-sex-offenders/), and The Crime Report (http://www.thecrimereport.org/archive/standoff-over-sex-offenders/). More of my writing on criminal justice topics appears at http://www.stevenyoder.net/journalism/criminal-justice/.

I was hoping that RSOL might be able to post an announcement asking prospective families to contact me in whatever way is comfortable for them. If so, just let me know how you’d like to proceed—I’m happy to write this up in the form of an announcement if that’s helpful.

Sample Questions:
  • What has it been like for you to live with someone who is listed on the sex offender registry?
  • Have you or other immediate family members experienced any of the following as a result of your loved one’s being on the registry?
  • Financial hardships?
  • Changes in your housing, or difficulties obtaining housing?
  • Teasing, ridicule, social isolation, or exclusion?
  • Property damage?
  • Harassment, verbal abuse, or assault?
  • How have your experiences affected your views of current sex offender laws?
  • Has that led you to be involved in efforts to change those laws, if at all?

Thanks so much.

Steven Yoder [steven@stevenyoder.net]


6 comments :

Mark said...

"She has found it hard to hold down a job. She needs a lifetime of
therapy. She has legal bills. Her lawyers say it adds up to about
$3.4-million (U.S.)." Her lawyers ought to sew their pockets up but are thrilled to represent her at the tune of 3.4 million. And the cottage industry fulfilled in the world of psychology. With all due respect, just how much, and long do you hang on being a victim?

Mark said...

"Each violation of the ordinance could be punishable by a fine of up to $500" This stupid, insipid, myopic ordinance is a penal law. That is why the dummy bureaucrats could not run it retrospectively. Perhaps one could argue this ordinance usurps the state legislative function. It is always about the money - isn't it?

Mark said...

PAUL & ELLEN. THE PHOTOS SAY IT ALL. But briefly, yet two more dopes for the junk pile.

Sex Offender Issues said...

As long as there is money to be made?

Amy said...

Maybe Amy's problematic behavior is a result of the guilt she feels for siphoning money from men that she knows in her heart of hearts had nothing to do with what her uncle did to her.

Mark said...

Amy, now there is a thought!!