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National

AR: Bill would bar sex offenders from school events

​Allison Finley is the mother of a sexual assault victim. “We found out some years later because my child could not verbalize at two and a half [years old] what had been done,” she explains. The attacker is in prison but the impact continues. Full Article

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  1. kat

    I can understand Ms. Finley’s concern for her child, no child deserves to be attacked, but what she is doing is projecting her venom towards her child’s attacker at an entire group of people/ registrants, who may have committed very different crimes, including non-contact, non-violent crimes.
    If those on the registry are out and about in the world it means they’ve paid for their crime and they deserve all the rights that anyone else is afforded.
    All offenders are not all “sexual predators” as Ms. Finley would have you believe, their crimes are not all the same. Does she realize public urination, skinny dipping, kidnapping, inadvertant downloading can all get you on the registry? Do these people deserve her wrath? They didn’t harm her child.
    Most child sex offenses are committed by a close friend or family member of the child, not a stranger? Does Ms. Finley think that everyone who has been “labeled” by society is going to take aim at her child?
    Does she realize there may be murderers and thieves who have served their prison time that are attending her child’s school functions? Are they any more or less of a threat when attending a school function?
    We don’t live in a bubble, people make all kinds of mistakes, they pay for them, then they try to get on with their lives. More laws and ordinances that trample on the rights of those who have served their time, is not the answer.
    Ms. Finley has every right to spew her venom at her child’s attacker, whether that was a family member, friend, or stranger, but when it comes to the rest of us, stay out of our business.

  2. Jo

    My child was attacked so let me overreact and support legislation that is based solely on emotion and conjecture. Brilliant.

  3. DavidH

    oh BS! when is this nonsense going to stop!

  4. DavidH

    they act as if being victim of such an act is so damn traumatizing no one can get over it. Try being a resident of Aleppo to understand trauma

    • jo

      All due respect, I find this comment to be pretty offensive. My life was ruined by being molested. I am still paying the price for is 40 years later. Please don’t minimize the impact of being victimized sexually. It does nothing for our cause and is insensitive.

      • DavidH

        Well we cant discuss hypotheticals here or read between the lines, however, in my opinion absent anything with violence or something that goes way beyond the pale in a twisted sense of degree, one would be a very weak and defective person to be in a perpetual state to not able to “get over it” due to a trivial incident.

        I’ll continue to cite those that have gone through real trama

        • jo

          I went through real trauma.

        • yes, "that David"

          …..It is exactly that kind of thinking that allowed me to justify my offense. Words and emotions can and do FAR FAR FAR more damage than violence could ever do. It’s exactly what allows a trusted person to so easily offend. I say that YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND what real trauma is.

          You speak empty platitudes about how no one should be abused, and how you understand Ms. Finley’s concern. Then IMMEDIATELY minimize what was done to her daughter, and what that horror did to her. You assume there wasn’t physical violence and abuse, and if there wasn’t, it wasn’t real trauma. You don’t know that, and even if you did, you don’t get to decide if it was “real trauma.” Just because you are some hard big tough man, doesn’t mean that everyone can just shrug off being molested by you. Or did you simply forget what you learned in treatment? Are you even an offender? Your comment didn’t just offend me, it pissed me the f*** off. It’s exactly what is thrown in my face every time I try to say “I made a horrible mistake, but I’m not that person anymore.” It is exactly the excuse people use to describe me as not human.

          I know you are angry at the kind of stupid, self serving vengeful rhetoric presented in this article. But do you know the particulars of how her daughter was abused? Do you KNOW that this law wouldn’t have prevented it? OR do you just assume so because it, and the thinking behind it would harm you? It doesn’t say. Did you research it? If you did please provide a link. I would like to know. There is no excuse to dismiss Ms. Finley’s daughters abuse. OR jo’s abuse. Minimizing it only makes us ALL out to be the monsters they say we are.

        • Brian

          DavidH,

          I think it’s really important that we respect jo’s trauma, and not project our own assumptions about what should/should not be considered traumatic onto the survivor. jo was the survivor; not you, so it’s really very insulting for you to suggest that her trauma was “trivial”.

          Physical violence isn’t the only kind of trauma that can be severe and long-lasting in its impact.

          • ML

            If the mom says that her daughter suffered a traumatic experience, I would not presume to disagree. I am not sure how much a 2 and a half year old remembers, but it does not matter. The point is that there are probably zero instances of a registered SO, committing a crime in AR on a school campus. The mother in this article is obviously the one traumatized and the guilt is seemingly consuming her. I feel bad for the mom, but this proposed law is ridiculous. However it is an example of how laws get passed, as no one wants to vote against it. Here is hoping that the bill is killed in committee.

          • David Kennerly, still radioactive after all these years

            Brian, no offense to either you or “Jo,” but you might step back and consider how other people’s anecdotes of “trauma” have been used to silence US for a very long time. We really have no means of evaluating these stories for their accuracy. Indeed, people in this country are sent to prison merely on the strength of other people’s claims of having been abused.

            These stories may be real or they may be not. Regardless, there can never be any fairness in holding people collectively responsible for the crimes of others. I certainly don’t take responsibility for the acts of other people who may have done things which I would never have done and did not do.

            I’m not sure what “respect someone’s trauma” means. If it means that, in the absence of evidence or, perhaps, a face-to-face discussion with her, that I must believe that her assertions are true, then I have to disagree that that is any such obligation. She has rights, as do I, that must be respected. We cannot, however, obligate anyone to accept our version of events for which we cannot provide evidence.

            I say this, in part, because there is a great deal of evidence, increasingly, that false claims of abuse are extremely common. Not only that, the area of research into what IS traumatogenic as well as what is accurately remembered is highly contentious and grossly underreported.

            We also do not have a “right” not to be offended. I am offended every single day and by many sources but my solution to being offended is not to try to shut-down the voices of others. I simply have to accept that people are within their rights to offend me and then get past the offense.

            We need to come to terms with, not only that other people and their ideas might offend us, but that traumas we may have experienced at some point in our lives – and we all have experienced trauma – are not ameliorated through their continuous nurturance and recapitulation. We have an obligation to ourselves to get past them and to live healthy and productive lives.

            We’re never going to engineer-out, through ever more elaborate skeins of law and regulation, all potential for trauma from our lives; that will never happen. So no, I will always respect the rights of others but never recognize as a “right” that they remain perpetually a victim nor me a victimizer.

  5. miket

    How would this bill have prevented Allison Finleys two year old from being molested? What exactly is the ratio of school kids being molested on campus by registrants vs. teachers, coaches, yard officers, and other students? I suppose the old argument here would be “If it saves one child… than it must be good?” Purely anecdotal.

  6. FRegistryTerrorists

    Anyone see a way to comment directly at the article? If I click on the “comment” button (a “quotation box symbol”) on the left, it does nothing. You can click on the “envelope” button there to “e-mail a friend” so I did that to e-mail to the author.

  7. LM

    But that is couched with the acknowledgment that official statistics reflect only offenses that come to the attention of authorities and are a diluted measure of reoffending.

    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” – Hitler.

  8. David Kennerly, still radioactive after all these years

    This story is quite disturbing for the implication of a “two-and-a-half year old” who, presumably, made an allegation “years later” after learning to speak. Disturbing, because there is no evidence of anyone remembering anything from that age, none whatsoever. There MAY be memories that can be retrieved from three-and-a-half but for most people it is around four. And this says nothing about the plasticity of memories, especially of very young children who cannot fully distinguish reality from fantasy.

    So, the idea that there is someone who has been convicted on that basis is very disturbing.

    Here’s some video of the woman who has the now-speaking and articulating child:

    http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/bill-would-bar-sex-offenders-from-school-events/621628142

    • Timmr

      There are no details here at all. The guilt of this man is one issue. Banning all 3 &4 registrants from schools because of it is another. By the way, didn’t the Supreme Court say registration has no prabation like restrctions? This law is one.
      I feel I have gone down the rabbit hole. What’s big is small, small big.

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