In Puritan America, a married woman’s illicit affair with a minister landed her in jail. After her release, Hester Prynne was sentenced to forever wear a big red “A” on her dress. 

Nearly 375 years later, the U.S. continues to be scandalized, tantalized and perplexed by sex, especially about sex offenders. Tough on crime, we’re still struggling to learn: 

  • Why domestic violence and incest are so under-reported by victims? 
  • Why most people think every sexual offender is a serial rapist? 
  • Why, even among therapists, many continue to believe sex-offenders to be untreatable? 
  • Why supervision after offenders’ release tends to-wards punitive rather than restorative? 

It’s time to bring the subject of sex crime out of the dark ages, time to help victims shed the shame and trauma of their experience. It’s also time to allow offenders an opportunity to show they can change, make amends and start to earn back trust and acceptance from society.

Myths & Bias

Myths & Bias

Myths and bias create deep division between humans. To achieve equality and mutual respect, it is crucial that we separate falsehoods from facts.

The myths about sex offenders abound. Men do get convicted of sexual crimes almost 10 times more than women. However, it is a myth that women do not commit sex crimes. It is sobering to learn about the prevalence of women as abusers. 

Another myth: sex offenders cannot be cured. My experience tells me otherwise. Successful treatment takes awhile, but so does recovery from addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs, dietary habits, lying, internet porn or gambling.

Bias against convicted criminals, especially those with a violent past, can be overcome. Society’s bias against sex offenders is the strongest, even among other felons.  Many believe that sex offenders can never be fully accepted back in society, that they can’t be trusted.  Crimininalism, like racism, sexism and classism, prevents those with certain characteristics from being our equal. Facing our biases is healthy, for us and for society.

 

Who Are the Offenders?

Who Are the Offenders?

Community Reentry

Community Reentry