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By Ken Stone
Predatory sex offenders are every parent’s nightmare, but police see more molestations within families than involving “stranger danger.” So when San Diego County highlighted its new system alerting residents if a sex offender registers in their area, it might be cause for concern.
“Research on the victim/offender relationship in child abduction/molestation cases is not new,” says an essay by Ernest E. Allen on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention website.
“Using a sample of 148 offenders who sexually assaulted youth and were sent for observation to a Massachusetts treatment facility, Groth and colleagues (1978) concluded that only 29 percent of the offenders studied were complete strangers to their child victims. In 71 percent of the cases, the offender and victim knew each other at least casually, and in 14 percent of the cases, the offender was a member of the child's immediate family.”
No doubt the email alerts will be welcome by many parents, but are they really a boon for safety or a way for officials to insure the safety of their jobs or offices?