ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings | Recordings (7/10 Recording Uploaded)
Emotional Support Group Meetings

Click here to sign up now for ACSOL’s Online EPIC Conference: Empowered People Inspiring Change Sept 17-18
Download a PDF of the schedule


Kat’s Blog: Are We Collateral Damage?

Collateral Damage: Injury inflicted on someone other than an intended target. Specifically, civilian casualties of a military operation. The earliest known use of the term was in1947.

Until I had a family member on the registry, I’d never been referred to as “collateral damage”, then all of a sudden, that’s what I was informed I had become.

When I was a newbie to this registry nation, some of the more senior advocates suggested that family and friends of registrants are considered “collateral damage.” “We’re not ON the registry, but we are HURT by it just the same” I was told.

At the time, I didn’t think much about the phrase, I assumed that if I went purely by the definition, as the family member of a registrant then I guess I was sort of injured by the registry, even though I wasn’t the registry’s main target. If the registrant lived in my home then it was my home address that was listed on the public registry. It was not only me but everyone else living in my home that felt “violated” during intensive routine searches by P.O.’s and the registry police. Fall decorations were now off limits at my home towards the end of October and the safety of my home was put at risk when I had to keep lights off on Halloween.

OK I thought, they must be right, I guess I am, we are, collateral damage of the registry.

Over the next few years I continued to hear the term “collateral damage” used by advocates referring to family and friends of registrants.

But recently I heard the term again and I realized I don’t think I like it, I don’t want to be labeled as “damaged”.

Those in charge of the registry view our situation as “too bad, so sad that family and friends of registrants are negatively impacted by the registry.” Their attitude is “blame the registrant, not us.”

No, I don’t think so, unlike the registry, placing blame is not a sporting event I want to participate in.

Nor do I want to view myself or my family or friends as collateral damage. When I think of “collateral damage” I think of those killed or maimed during the course of a war. Those who probably aren’t going to be able to get back up to fight. Things that are “damaged” are usually thought of as less than, the   damaged discount fruits and veggies on sale at the market, the damaged sale items at retail stores, clearance stuff missing buttons, having broken zippers, etc.

But that’s not who I am, that’s not who my family and friends are. We are not “damaged”.

On the contrary, fighting against the registry has made many of us stronger and more resilient. We may have battle scars and battle fatigue, but we are not collateral damage. We have been knocked down but we’ve also gotten back up to continue the fight.

We are family and friends standing shoulder to shoulder with our loved ones who are struggling under the weight of the registry. We are all in this battle together. But we are not “collateral damage.”

Recently I heard someone refer to themselves as a “Collateral Consequence”, I like that term so much better. We are the “result” of the registry, not broken, not damaged, just the result.


We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
    1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
    2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
    3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t
    4. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
    5. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
    6. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
    7. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
    8. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
    9. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
    10. Please do not post in all Caps.
    11. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
    12. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
    13. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
    14. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people
    15. Please do not solicit funds
    16. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), or any others, the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
    17. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
    18. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m sad that you have to experience the results of another’s mistake. I really am; you didn’t do anything wrong. You loved someone, that’s it. Many many others have and are in the same situation, including some because of an ignorant mistake I committed 23 years ago. Sorry.

We’re definitely scapegoated for what happened to Megan Kanka and Adam Walsh. Thing is, less than one percent of all sex offenders make up the exact psychological profile of their abductors and subsequent killers.

So by extension, a systematic and orchestrated revenge fantasy is being waged against us.

If no liberty at stake, who would complain?
The collateral implication for certain uses of the machine databases propagates statutes awash in anti- liberty too.

Sir, if you are trying to tell people something I think you should try to do it by using plain language and trying to be as clear as possible. I don’t understand the point of most of your messages. I suspect a majority of people don’t and don’t try.

It is awesome that you post a lot. But do you want to say anything that people understand?

I’m not interested in database conspiracies or whatever. Databases are just a tool. That’s all.

@Will Allen:
Though your attempts are admirable, they appear in vain. Your pleas are falling on deaf ears. Or perhaps I should say falling on a locked database.

one thing will keeps repeating over and over is that when the cops come to your door they are not your friend…STFU and tell them that your Attorney forbids you from speaking to them..what you say will be used against you in a court of law..guaranteed

Not all collateral damage victims are created equal. The loved ones of people on the registry suffer along with the registrant, and at present it is life in California, meanwhile Governor Newsome handed out clemency for six convicted felons that are in the US illegally. They committed offenses of armed robbery, assault, shop lifting, auto theft, evading police, attempted murder, arson, and drug related felonies. Governor Newsome granted clemency to them in an attempt to prevent them from being deported, and in his own words said:

“I regard clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability, rehabilitation, and increase public safety by removing counter productive barriers to successful reentry and correct unjust results in the legal system. These men served their sentences and have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves.”

Those are Governor Newsome’s exact words from a press release today. Anybody on this board want to sign up for any of that? I say all 109,000 of us that have served our sentences, completed supervised release and SO treatment should write him and say, “Where do I sign up?” Personally I did a non-contact offense and would believe that attempted murder, armed robbery, and arson are a little bit more of a public safety factor than looking at images on the computer, but that is my biased opinion. But please, I would really like us to hold him to his word. Demand that he adjust the tiered registry to fit his words and his philosophy. People on the registry who are offense free and have shown attempts at integrating to society should get freed from the registry. I am not even asking for clemency, just freedom from the registry. I’ll deal with the felony on my record, but remove that “barriers to successful reentry.”

I am sure the families of all these men who received clemency are delighted, and I think the families of those of registrants deserve a reprieve as well.

You know, Eric, if all 108,000 of us would write a simple letter and affix a 50 cent stamp, that would be 108,000 pieces of mail on his desk and we might actually get somewhere with this very simple approach!

Best Wishes, James I

Janice – I’m on board with writing a letter to the Governor. Who else will?

Dear Laura:

I think that this is actually a fairly decent idea…but there should be some coordination in any effort to write to the Governor on this basis. Specifically, I mean there should be chosen a date that we all write individually and the letters arrive on the same day or a day or two apart so there is the intended effect.

I do think it pretty outrageous that all kinds of individuals have been granted clemency, (and good for them), but never ever has clemency been granted to a Registered Sex Offender. Ever.

I would suggest November 15 or the 25th for a mailing date (or even later)….so that we can first gauge is their sufficient support for such a writing campaign to do it or not….not 100,000 writers, which would be nice, not even 1,000, but if there were 100 people willing to do this…then sure, let’s go.

But if it is only you and me, or maybe 5 other people….then I would suggest holding off until there a better moment…politics is the Art of catching the right moment (when there is lots of actual and motivated support).

But at least we know there are two engaged people…you and me….lol

Be Good & Be Happy

James I

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x