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.