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Kat’s Blog: Time to Dispel the Halloween Myth

It’s that time again, Halloween, pumpkins, trick or treaters, candy, Stranger Danger news coverage and the registry police.

It’s hard to imagine that between law enforcement and the news media, what was once an enjoyable festive holiday for young and old alike has by all accounts been turned into a fictitious, stranger-danger, panic event of epic proportions for registrants.

All these years the public’s been led to believe that children are at an increased danger at Halloween because of registrants. (Somehow the fact that the highest risk to children at Halloween is being hit by cars, seems to have eluded them.)

We have public registry maps of where registrants live, children are given stern warnings from their parents “no trick or treating at that house.” The registry police show up at the homes of registrants, police cars and uniforms blazing on Halloween, providing entire neighborhoods with ring side seats to the annual Halloween safety checks of registrant’s homes. There are towns where registrants have been required to post signs on their front door or on the front lawn saying “No trick or treating here.” And, there are annual “round-ups”, detaining of registrants at jails during evening hours when children are out trick or treating. All this done under the guise of “keeping children safe from registrants.”

TV news spares no expense in misinforming the public that children are at a much higher risk to become victims of sexual abuse by registrants on Halloween than at any other time of year. Every year there’s grainy TV news coverage showing registry police knocking on doors of registrants, making certain registrants have their outside lights are off, that doors aren’t being opened to children, that no treats are being given out. Every year the “increased risk by registrants” myth is perpetuated by news and law enforcement.

Isn’t it time we start demanding that the news media show us the research and evidence they base their news reports on? This lie has been continued year after year, it’s time to put an end to it.

It’s time we challenge the news media.

It’s time for all those newspapers and TV channels that insist on perpetuating the myth of registrants being an increased danger to children at Halloween, to “show us the evidence.”

Before they write one more article or televise one more news broadcast about the increased danger of registrants to Halloween trick or treaters, they need to start providing their evidence. Are they just copying past erroneous Halloween news reports, assuming they must all have been true? Has anyone bothered to do any fact checking? Good journalism reports true facts.

I’ve researched the Halloween myth and I haven’t found any evidence anywhere that there is or ever has been an increase in offenses by registrants on Halloween. There don’t seem to be any facts, any statistics to back up what the news media and law enforcement have been reporting all these years.

It’s time for news reporters out there to “put up or shut up”, as the saying goes.

If there’s evidence to back up the claims of an increase in Halloween sexual offenses by registrants, where is it? It’s because of this continued news media misinformation that year after year, hundreds of thousands of registrants and their families have been denied the chance to participate in the fall holiday.

We’d all like to know where you got your research information. Come on, spit it out, we’re willing to take a look at it, if there’s evidence we’d be more than happy to acknowledge it.

But by the same token, if you find as many of us have found that the “Halloween Registrant Offense Increase” is nothing more than a myth, a malicious urban legend started and perpetuated by the media and law enforcement with no evidence to support it, then it’s time for the news media to come clean and set the facts straight. Admit you may have been wrong all these years, report the truth, even if it doesn’t make for a “sensational story.”

The public, and that includes registrants, have the right to expect fair, accurate and evidence- based news reporting, especially when the quality of our lives and those of our families depends on it.

Time to dispel the myth.

 

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Thank you Kat. I think your letter should be sent to every politician that represents us. I know the media likes to shock people in hopes of drawing in readers, but I really think this would be well received news around the country–imagine parents receiving good and comforting news about their kids. This would be popular. I wanted to find information about three children that were killed in a cross walk by a drunk driver on Halloween in Santa Anna a few years back. I googled “teens killed by drunk driver on Halloween”, and to my astonishment there is an… Read more »

@Eric

Well said and well done on noting a registrant has not assaulted on Halloween a minor, which is quickly not noted by anyone.

This is a great writing, as usual. I think every time that a person sees a Halloween panic story, they could just copy/paste this exact writing there as a comment/reply. Assuming that Kat doesn’t want to do all of them herself and is okay with it. I really, really think that it would be extremely effective and useful if the “comments” part of any Registry article were just overwhelmed with anti-Registry comments. Fighting court cases and evil politicians must be done and certainly has and will yield extremely important results, but I really think that the only way that Amerika… Read more »

Can the media be sued over this?

When I was on probation in Tucson, we would be ordered to be at the probation office for the evening. If we didn’t show up we would be “escorted” by armed police to the office and many times people were violated for it.

Perfectly written, but how about dispelling all of the myths around registered citizens and the “offenses”?

You should call out Patch.com, they are notorious for popping up all over the country with their fearmongering.

The Public: So why is it every year near Halloween that you produce all these stories scaring us half to death about sex offenders and stranger danger and such?

Media: Well, to prevent children from being sexually assaulted while Trick or Treating, of course!

The Public: But there has never been a case of a child being sexually assaulted while Trick or Treating!

Media: SEE? It’s working!

@derek.oncefallen.com Oh, Cindy Prizzio (NARSOL Affiliate) is doing a Heck of a Job doing this here in CT. But, due to “freedom of information” and the fact the Patch is a failing entity (non-Trumpian verdict), I think that torque and assets might be put into the theatre of defense elsewhere. When I was on the Reg (10 years) I remember as recently as two years ago when I came off that “fear” of the Patch and their annual outing of RC’s. It was one more public shaming. One more reminder that in this community I live in I was zeroed… Read more »

There has never been an incident of any sex offense being committed on Halloween night by a registered sex offender to any child trick-or-treating. Not even a police complaint. Not one from the time that statistics can show between 1981 until today. That is zero…exactly ZERO… occurrences of ANY sex crime committed against a trick or treater since well over 20 years BEFORE the Internet registry, and the two decades SINCE the Internet registry. That is zero complaints, zero charges, zero incidents… none, nada, zip. Meanwhile, there have been over 100 kids killed trick or treating by drunk drivers since… Read more »

The news is intentionally designed to alarm and outrage because it easily draws attention to “it could happen to you” scenarios and the low-information viewers fall for this nonsense year in and year out. It’s really ingrained into the public psyche (these people are dangerous and can’t control their urges, blah, blah.. ) which the media exploits for easy, EASY coverage and ratings. The willfully ignorant are like money in the bank for these news outlets. I feel the media will never come clean because they are in on it. Just like a code of silence, they want to keep… Read more »

i am a 290 offender and hate it for about a zillion reasons (corrupt parole the biggest reason). Before my sex offense in 03 Halloween was my favorite holiday now its a true nightmare, now i am afraid of what lie parole or cops will make to lock me and thousands up in there raids, let alone parade us to the neighborhood which may not be a safe neighborhood to began with therefore making us legit targets of violence, to be honest now that i have a place to live this year im abit scared cuz i live in one… Read more »

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