I was very disappointed to learn that a group of people want the sex offender register removed or changed so they can go to children’s activities.  They are petitioning Bill No. 5679 to make several changes. I’ve read the bill and it does not give any mention or concern for the victims. Abusers chose to offend. Victims had no choice but have to suffer the many repercussions from the abuse such as; addictions, physical and mental health issues, low self-worth, trust, shame, relationship and intimacy issues.

Sadly, there are offenders who do repeat so it’s wise to know who they are and their whereabouts.  A 16-year-old victim told me that her abuser threatened to kill her when he gets out. Being able to see his location gives her some comfort. This is not an isolated story.  I also believe there should be a domestic violence offender’s register. The sex offender register is a consequence of their crime and needs to be in place for our protection.

We teach to older students in our sexual abuse prevention class that if you are found guilty of committing a sex crime your name will be on the sex offender register. I do recommend that younger offenders be graduated off the register once they comply to all the requirements and do not re-offend.  Having the register gives parents an opportunity to educate their children about sexual abuse and tell them what areas are not safe. If the offended is repentant and has gone through therapy this information could be added to their profile on the register. My heart goes out to the families of offenders for I know they suffer from shame and difficulties as well.

If you agree that the register should remain tight please contact your State Reps and Senators. 

Shirley J. Petersen

Cadillac