?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Icky but Informative

I attended a neighborhood public safety meeting a few nights ago to take notes for the school’s parents’ newsletter. I thought my online parent-friends might appreciate this information, too, distasteful as it is. (If you don’t live in Oregon, you can skip to the cut.)

If you live in Oregon, Multnomah County now has an online database of predatory sex offenders, which can be accessed by the public.

The web address is:

http://www.co.multnomah.or.us/dcj/acjsoffendersup.shtml

Additionally, the Oregon State Police maintains a separate sex offender database which is not accessible to the public at this time. That data is scheduled to be online within a year. In the meantime, you may call the number below to request a list of sex offenders living in your zip code. This works well for people outside Multnomah County, or for information about offenders who were convicted in a different county.

The number is:

1-503-378-3725 x 4429

Multnomah County has active supervision of over 900 sex offenders … 200 of which are classified as predatory – meaning to adults and children. Those 200 are the ones you will find on the website.



The officers from the Community Justice department who spoke at the meeting last night cautioned parents not to relax their vigilance about safety. Only a small percentage of sex offenses is ever reported, which means that an even smaller percentage is successfully prosecuted. The names of the predators on the website represent offenders under supervision. The officers recommend that we parents know all of our children’s friends, and all of the adults who have contact with our children. Some sex offenders are opportunistic. They’re not the scary stranger-rapists. They’re the soccer coach, or the dad of your kid’s friend who gets your kid alone in the car.

A case of predatory behavior took place at a community center in my neighborhood last year. A man started timing his visits to the center to coincide with kids’ swim lessons. One day a boy getting into the car after his lesson had a Harry Potter DVD, which his father asked about. “My friend gave it to me,” said the boy. As they drove out of the parking lot, the boy waved to this man. “Who was that?” asked the father. “My friend,” said the boy. The predator spent months hanging around the locker room, gaining the boy’s trust (and the trust of other boys), and was undoubtedly preparing to commit a crime: he had been convicted of another child’s assault in 1990 … a boy he met at a swim center.

An article about pedophiles several months ago contained a quote from one of them which haunts me: “Show me a kid who knows nothing about sex, and I’ll show you my next victim.”

Do I want to talk about sex with my eight-year-old? Not a lot. Will I? Yes. Or I’ll find a good book to help me out.

Do I want to suspect every other adult with whom my son comes into contact? No. Will I? No, but I’ll be paying a lot of attention to everyone.

I hope this information is helpful. It’s not my intent to be a fear-monger … just realistic. I want plenty of tools in my parenting toolbox, even the sharp ones that I would rather not touch.

Comments

( 4 inscriptions — Inscribe a note )
rusalkatrix
Jan. 27th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)
Do I want to talk about sex with my eight-year-old? Not a lot. Will I? Yes. Or I’ll find a good book to help me out.

I applaud you for that. The worst thing in the world is to leave a kid uninformed. He can't protect himself if he doesn't know what to look out for, and isn't aware that he should be cautious, even with "nice" adults.

You're not being a fear-monger. Information is power.
literaticat
Jan. 28th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
The best books for talking to kids about sex are (for the pre-10 set) It's So Amazing! and (for the post-10 set) It's Perfectly Normal. Both of these books are also superb as reference tools for parents.

I am not a big fan of being freaked out or of freaking kids out, but vigilance is important... AND making sure your kid knows he can talk to you about anything. Good for you!

lkmadigan
Jan. 28th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
Oh thank you.

That was my next question.
literaticat
Jan. 28th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
Any time - I am a huge fan of dispensing unsolicited advice.

I am watching Nemo for the 9 thousandth time. *AAHH! I AM SO SICK OF THIS MOVIE!*
( 4 inscriptions — Inscribe a note )