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Kat’s Blog: “THAT” Can Happen To You

We’ve all sometimes wondered, how did THAT happen?

How did I or my family member or my friend become tangled up in this whole “sex offender”, registry nightmare? The short answer is simple, S—t Happens.  The longer answer is more complex. But the word that I often hear people use when talking about “sex offenders” sex offenses and the registry is “THAT”.

A well-meaning friend whose husband is an attorney mentioned that her husband would never handle cases like” THAT”, meaning “sex offense cases”.

When discussing a loved one’s conviction people have asked “Well how on earth did “THAT” happen?”

“They seemed like such a nice young man/woman, I can’t believe they could do something like “THAT,” the neighbor in the sex offense news story is frequently quoted as saying.

Or there’s the flip side of the news report, the other neighbor who says “he was creepy, I always knew he was capable of something like “THAT.”

I can’t begin to count the times I’ve heard complete strangers say “THAT” would never happen in my family”.

“My children would never do anything like THAT” I’m told when explaining the dangers of the internet, inadvertent downloads of pornography and teenage sexting to parents.

There are some that will say “THAT” is so unfair, when I explain to them how the registry continues to punish those who have completed their sentences.

“THAT” which many find so despicable or so unimaginable that they won’t even use real words to describe it, can and does happen.” THAT” can happen to anyone.

And “THAT’S” happening more and more.

While many may not want to talk about “THAT”, it’s a discussion that needs to happen if we want any chance of ever taking down the registry. “THAT” needs to be out in the open. We need to educate ourselves and then educate our family, friends and acquaintances so they can educate their families, friends and acquaintances. If we do nothing and allow people to continue to have the wrong idea about what “THAT” is, about who we are and the myriad of often benign offenses that can land anyone on the registry, then “THAT” continues to be a dirty word, a hushed secret spoken only amongst ourselves and only behind closed doors. If we don’t stand up and speak about “THAT” then in the eyes of the public every registrant will continue to be considered a violent predator that deserves to be locked up, shunned and kept on a public hit-list.  “THAT” is what will happen if we don’t speak up.

There’s already close to one million people on the sex offender registry.

“THAT” is a lot of registrants.

We all need to do our part to change “THAT”.

Donate, stand up, speak up, write your representatives. Together we can change “THAT”.

Join the discussion

  1. Laura

    Kat, the point you are trying to make is well written and gets across, indeed. I try to talk about “That” whenever possible. The roadblock I hit is that most people see the spouse or if you are a “Mother” in this situation as being in denial and not coming to the common thought process that their loved one is like “That”. I find that when my young son speaks about “That” he is met with more open minds that are willing to take a moment not only to listen but to hear .

  2. Tim in WI

    The state of MICHIGAN attorney General Dana Nessel (D) who was the first State AG to label the MISOR regime bloated and ineffective is now under scrutiny.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/06/dennis-lennox-michigans-democrat-attorney-general-dana-nessel-caught-up-in-election-manipulation-allegation/

    It is hard to know if this investigation on Nessel is completely about election interference OR her highly unpopular position on SOR. Either way her credibility is in question. A proven link to election fraud would certainly get her out of the way on the registry issues.

    Timing is important and I’m certain Judge Clelands’ mandamus compelled her to do her duty as AG and follow federal judicial determination set forth by motivating congressional actors to move to comply with the judges writ order. To date MI has failed to come to terms with that order.

  3. ab

    People are in a general sense attracted to controversy and the controversial. Take an easy example of a car crash. Most individuals passing by are at minimum curious enough to glance in the direction of the crash. Films, television shows, radio programs, podcasts, songs, albums, books, plays, short stories, and novellas among other forms of communication have been centered around extreme, unusual, and controversial themes and occurrences. Up to a point lot’s of people want to know every detail about any number of things. Interestingly people tend to have difficulty believing certain things could happen again. Mass shootings are a great example, just this year there have been so many that it shouldn’t surprise anyone if another happens simply because no major social and/or political/legal shift has occurred to really address all the underlying problems leading to mass shootings.

    Codified throughout federal and state law, county and city ordinances in the United States are numerous lines of legal text on the subject of sex offenses. Sexual orientation, conduct and content in this country and honestly many other places around the world are still somewhat delicate topics. It doesn’t help that on the criminal front alone a crime in one locale isn’t the same crime or a crime at all somewhere else for whatever reason. Even rape has varying forms and degrees and definitions. Yet whatever someone is involved with on any side just because they believe a perspective or the law defines it some other way doesn’t mean it’s the most accurate way to define what happened or is happening. For example there’s a case I’m aware of where someone was charged with rape. Going over every detail of what really happened including matching statements from the person the law believes was a victim no inappropriate contact of any kind occurred let alone physical contact which would rise to the level of rape. The point being “THAT” even despite it’s name, category, or label may not be what it seems. More than anything this is a failure of language because without accurate descriptions to describe the world how can anyone hope to talk, write, and discuss anything especially for the purpose of understanding and finding solutions.

    Unfortunately on a wide scale people don’t care about the details especially if those details do not directly affect them.

    • Tim in WI

      @ab,
      No doubt the general public are apathetic if not plain numbed out as evidenced by the opioid crisis. However that does not relieve registrants themselves from protesting their plain old indenture to the states’ machine database. Many have no cognition about the true nature of their plight, that they are slaves to a machine that has stripped them of their right to silence and the right to say ” no” to gov agents. A baker in Colorado recently had a similar problem.

  4. Billy Jack

    Thank you Kat for your article. I never ever thought that “that” could happen to me. I am and always have been a law abiding citizen, but when “that” happened to me, my live not only changed forever, but now I have found that despite my best efforts to recover, I am now disenfranchised from making a living, having home, and finding a relationship. Ending up homeless, broke, and lost of hope is not justice, it’s retribution. Plan and simple.

    Thank you again.

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