The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Global sex offender list proposed; sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Brad Sylvester, SNAP MI Leader, 989 450 6210
Thanks to Rep. Dan Lungren for stepping up efforts to better protect children from sexual predators across the globe. This is a common-sense measure that allows parents and child-care workers to be warned when a previously convicted sex offender travels to their region. Obviously this will enable the adults to keep the children away from the predators. The devastation caused by child sexual abuse is life-long for the victims so every effort that helps expose predators makes a difference in keeping children safe.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747)
Global sex offender list proposed
By Ed Brayton 2/16/10 7:10 AM
Despite the many problems and unjust aspects of sex offender registries in the United States, one California legislator wants to replicate the idea internationally, establishing a global sex offender list that could track people from country to country as well as state to state. The Detroit Free Press reports:
While the law now applies to all states, California Republican Rep. Dan Lungren is proposing a worldwide crackdown on high-risk sex offenders and sex trafficking.
Under his bill, convicted sex offenders would have to tell local law enforcement of their travel plans 21 days before leaving their country. That information would then be shared with diplomatic officials in foreign countries, who could keep track of the offenders. Lungren is already working with the Mexican government on the proposal.
“The idea is to notify law enforcement officials in those countries that people are traveling,” said Lungren, who called sex trafficking “a plague on our region and our nation.”
And if it was only sex traffickers and pedophiles that ended up on such a list, that might not be a problem. But as we’ve been documenting over the last few weeks, every state has different criteria for what kinds of crimes qualify for the registry and very few states limit the list only to actual predators.
In many states you can end up being a “registered sex offender” for anything from soliciting a prostitute to mooning someone to having a consensual Romeo and Juliet relationship with another teenager to “sexting” (sending explicit pictures of oneself over a cell phone).
But here’s the real problem with proposals like this:
However, Michael Macleod-Ball, the ACLU’s chief legislative and policy counsel, said he fears the bill will pass because no one in Congress will want to cast a vote that could be interpreted as supporting sex offenders.
“Absolutely, we’re worried about something like this passing because it’s very easy to get a yes vote,” he said. “Maybe we should say the converse: If you vote against something like this, you sort of stick out like a sore thumb.”
Which is exactly why no legislator has the courage to fix the situation. Talk to lawmakers about it and every one of them will tell you, off the record, that they know there is much injustice being done and they think it needs to be changed — but none of them is willing to put their career on the line to do it.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests