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.

Education: It'll Never Go Out of Fashion, But Neither Will Ignorance

Education: It'll Never Go Out of Fashion, But Neither Will Ignorance

How can children be expected to learn healthy sexual behaviors if the parents aren't aware of them? How can children learn healthy sexual attitudes if the church doesn't walk it's talk? How can we break the cycle of sexual violence until such time as we put our citizen's rights above our own desires?

We have started the ball rolling to put a regional education effort together for next year. We aren't the first, of course, and we won't be the last. But the collective society must supplement what kids and adults are getting in the way of sexual education besides schools and churches and parents who grew up in a toxic environment.

There are four tracks to our educational effort: legislative, corrections, treatment and reentry. It addresses the best practices that have given us success with those who've been convicted and punished for their sexual crimes.

Of course, it doesn't directly address the population that has yet to be implicated, except by good example. If those adjudicated can turn their bad behavior into ideal behavior, then the strategies that are employed for them can apply to those who have yet to be caught, or punished, or treated.

The current media flood of stories about sex abuse can trigger a public response that will help the next generation be freer from such violence. Or, we can continue to be numbed by the news and pretend - like our endless war on other nations - that it's just the way things are.

It's our choice, and to change direction, it will take concerted will power and determination. Just as it does to fight any disease.

What's The Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes?

What's The Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes?

The Catholic Church Expose Points to a Bigger Social Issue