By JUANITA SOLIS
When I became a mother, I never thought one of my children would end up being labeled a sex offender. Yet, three years ago, it did happen.
It has not only changed his life but mine as well, because I see things so much differently. I see the struggles that my child goes through when it comes to finding a job, the prejudices and stigma he deals with when they find out he is a sex offender. I think to myself, was I the same way?
Up until recently, sex offenders to me were the same as pedophiles. They were the ones that hurt children, that raped woman. Now I know that is not true.
Sex offenders can be someone that was caught urinating in public; they can be a minor that had sex with another minor. They can be someone that was unlucky enough to have had sex with a minor that lied about their age. Their lives are changed forever while the minor goes on living their life with no consequence to their action.
They can even be someone that used a file sharing program, like my son did. They trusted the title of the movie to be what it said to be and not child porn like it turned out to be.
There has to be some way to change the laws to reclassify people like this. Some way to label people like above in a class separate from people that rape or harm another human being. Some way to stop people from assuming that just because they are labeled a sex offender that they are a bad person.
But the question is how?