August 19, 2011

Distance offers kids little protection from sex offenders

8-19-2011 Florida:

It has been called the geography of punishment.

But whether it's 1,000 feet, 1½ miles or 2 miles, distance doesn't go as far as parents might think to protect children from sex offenders, according to those who work with them.

Within a two-mile radius of Young Middle Magnet School, where more than 600 children will come and go once school starts Tuesday, live 263 convicted sex offenders.

That's a greater concentration than at any of Hillsborough County's public schools. Two miles is where most Hillsborough students qualify for a bus ride; if they live any closer they must walk to school or get a ride.

Concerns about proximity are behind a Florida law barring any convicted sex offender judged guilty in the last seven years from living within 1,000 feet of a school.

In addition, whenever a sex offender moves within 1.5 miles of a school, day care or other buildings where children gather, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Department alerts them.

But experts say parents and community leaders may be fighting the wrong battle with moves aimed at putting distance between offenders and potential victims.

Distance, they say, doesn't offer protection. The reason: Predators rarely victimize at random.

In as many as 93 percent of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows the offender, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice.

"People believe that the registered sex offenders are the highest risks, when they really need to look at the people in their own lives," said Laura Umfer, a sex offender psychologist in Tampa.

Learn more on this story from parents, authorities and sex offenders themselves in The Tampa Tribune on Sunday. ..Source.. by RACHEL KAYLOR

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Laura Umfer, a sex offender psychologist in Tampa". She says "people believe that registered sex offenders are the highest risk, but they REALLY need to look at the people in thier own lives". Also the article says EXPERTS know that putting distance
between offenders and potential victims does nothing.
Now this "sex offender psychologist" (who I assume has no motive to LIE)is saying what we have been screaming to the government,media, and the public for years. And the EXPERTS mentioned in the article are actually telling truth. They are not FSO's trying to make this stuff up or "Manipulate the system". Question is: Will the government,media ,and public BELIEVE them? Well, you know what I think?(and I'm sure alot of you do too) I think society IS starting to listen.(of course some more than others). I see the average person begining to accept the FACTS instead of the LIES! And that's a good thing. Lawmakers (most) are going to do what they feel is popular with thier constituients. They RARELY will make a move that is precieved to be EASY on FSO's. Nevertheless, I do see the public comming around and keeping an eye on people that thier kids KNOW WELL,or those in AUTHORITY and not so much on FSO's who are posted on line for the whole world to see.And it is the public who will influence our lawmakers (alongside FSO's, thier families, and our precious advocates across the country) to do what is RIGHT and, at minimum, give us a CHANCE to do the same. Yes, it is only in it's VERY EARLY stages, but the changes are comming. In my opinion this article is written PROOF.