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General News

A new name and a new law claiming to fight child sex abuse, and guess what? THIS one will work!

We could say the names in our sleep—Megan’s Law; the Adam Walsh Act; Polly Klass; Jessica’s Law; Lauren Book; Chelsea’s Law; Laura Ahearn; and so many others.

They all mark milestones for laws and policies and mandates and programs that claim to fight child sexual abuse. More than one has launched the major participant to fame, fortune, or a political stepping-stone. They all claim to be pro-victim—but they aren’t. They are pro-registry. They are pro-public notification. They are pro-lifetime punishment for those who have committed any one of over 200 offenses, from the mildest possible to the most horrific, that triggers sex offender registration. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Q

    What; an new law and a new name to call said new law? Oh gawd!!!!! Here we go again!

    • G4Change

      Actually, Q, you should read the article. THIS IS GOOD. THIS MAKES SENSE.
      Read it, and I think you’ll agree.

      • Q

        Hi G4Change. I did read the article. I read it before it was posted here. And I agree; it sounds good on the surface, but (call me a pessimist if you wish) I can’t help but expect this law to eventually be twisted to the point that it is no longer recognizable for what it’s intended purpose was; just like all the other laws that have come down the pike.

        I could be wrong; in fact I hope I’m wrong, but forgive me for not having any faith in anything funded by the Federal Government. So far every “new law” with Federal funding I’ve seen has transformed into a monster that devours entire families. The lesser men and women this society is cursed with take laws like this one and twist and turn into something acceptable to their perverted minds. They have a nasty habit of taking anything good and turning it into something that harms people.

        We’ll see what happens with this and how it goes; time will tell.

    • The Anon

      Nope, not this time. This is an education based law, not one that will add further punishment. Out of all legislation regarding sex abuse and sex offender this one by far makes the most sense.

      • Q

        Yea, but is this “new law” really necessary in light of the empirical facts that all but prove this whole thing is a wasteful farce?

  2. Double A

    If I read the article correctly, then this is the first law that I believe will truly make a difference. If this was the first law that was trying to prevent sexual abuse (if this came before Megan’s law, Jessica’s law, etc.) I think it would have done a better job protecting people. Like with everything, prevention is better than correction.

    Would you rather deal with a cavity or prevent having to go through a root canal? Would you rather be diagnosed with cancer or prevent it? Would you rather get in a car accident and deal with everything associated or prevent the accident from occurring? Prevention makes so much more sense. All the other laws deal with issues after the fact. That’s why they are failures.

  3. Timmr

    This law goes in the right direction, but without relief from extreme punitive consequences for exposing a loved one to a system that is not focused on family reunification and rehabilitation, many families will try to deal with the offense “in house”, which is not the best solution in most cases. Hiding the abuse, not confronting it, is not good, but is encouraged by our present laws. One law can’t change that without a holistic approach.
    Given people the opportunity to get healing therapy is a good thing for the individuals involved and society in general, expanding the panopticon to have more people looking in every classroom or family den for suspicious behavior, so that more people can be jailed, is not.

  4. TJ

    I would recommend that we all take an hour and watch the documentary that was televised on the TLC network. It was a well done piece and from all I could hear on it was legitimate numbers, nothing that has been fabricated. The only issue I have with this law is that it doesn’t go deep enough, there needs to be a program and PSAs that reach the potential offender. There is a program called Dunkelfeld Project that addresses, reaching the potential offender before he or she actually molests a child. Here is the link, spend the one hour watching the show.
    http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/tlc-presents/videos/breaking-the-silence/

    Ted

  5. mike r

    This is a step in the right direction. Get rid of the registry and employ laws such as this. Even rso can stand by this type of legislation.

  6. Timmr

    Here is the California Education Code version of “Erin’s Law”:

    “51900.6. (a) (1) The state board shall, based upon recommendations
    by the Superintendent, consider including age-appropriate content for
    kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in sexual abuse and
    sexual assault awareness and prevention in the next revision of the
    health content standards.
    (2) The state board shall, based upon recommendations by the
    Instructional Quality Commission, consider including information in
    sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention in the
    Health Framework for California Public Schools when next revised.
    (b) (1) School districts, county offices of education, and charter
    schools may provide age-appropriate instruction, pursuant to the
    content standards adopted by the state board under subdivision (a),
    for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, as applicable, in
    sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention.
    (2) Upon written request of the pupil’s parent or legal guardian,
    a pupil in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, shall be
    excused from taking instruction in sexual abuse and sexual assault
    awareness and prevention established pursuant to this section.”

    If you want to support this law, you can go on https://www.change.org/p/prevent-child-sexual-abuse-pass-erin-s-law-at-the-federal-level and sign a petition to get it passed as a Federal Law. As with any law that claims to “end” sexual abuse, please use all diligence to research it before hand. What is frustrating about Change.org petitions is that they rarely include the actual text of the action they are petitioning for.

  7. Eric Knight

    While I support Erin’s law in it’s CURRENT iteration, unscrupulous politicians would use it as cover to introduce their own riders that may increase the punishments to RSO’s in general. For instance, residence, employment, proximity, and tehnological restrictions can be thrown in without debate or even exposure, other than the textual composition of the law, that doesn’t get read until the bill is passed.

    Therefore, be very careful of its introduction, and make sure that the bill’s author, as much as possible, resist any riders being added. As much as I’d like to think this is possible, I don’t think it’s probable, and in the end we will sadly see another law trumped up with it’s original provisions, but the “devil’s in the details” aspect of Erin’s law will unleash more draconian measures on registered citizens.

  8. LM

    At the end of the day, all those names listed above in which those feckless laws were created – STILL die in vain. Actually, their memories are being defiled with hate, not “proactive awareness.” That ONE magical child they think the registry is going to save just died in a car accident 7 seconds ago. This is the lawmakers and law enforcement’s sad reality and hard truth.

    Hate in America will always be normalized and legitimized towards sex offenders.

  9. someone who cares

    It is not a bad article and tries to focus on the important issues. However, it says “this one will work” really admitting that all the others do NOT work. Finally people might realize this?

  10. ab

    This is a decent proposal on the surface and its intended purpose does align with the strategies outlined within. Although I can’t see every state being able to pass such a proposal because doing so would require more comprehensive educational standards to be put into affect. Even in states where those standards are applied in order for true long term benefits both sides need equal and complementary attention.

    No one should be made aware of sexual misconduct without also learning about appropriate sexual conduct. Granted too much information on either side can generate unfortunate collateral consequences like increased exploration of sexual activities and concepts too early, the formation of the impression that sexual activity is all bad, shameful, and harmful, that there are no risks involved or the risks are not so great that they should largely be ignored.

    Really preventing future sexual abuse and exploitation is about far more than raising awareness of warning signs, procedures for reporting, and so on. Its about reducing the probability of conduct ever reaching the criminal or inappropriate level for a given situation. As a companion to this law there should be standards for teaching the components of forming friendships, the purpose of dating (for those ready to explore everything that comes with dating), hookup culture, and everything else relating to human bonding and sexual expression in a developmentally appropriate/age appropriate set of classes and/or programs all of which must be scientifically and medically accurate.

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