This all-too-common theme is to promote harsher laws for people with a sex offense all in the name of protecting our communities.
Political leaders in Tallahassee, along with our Florida governor, have passed and signed into law Bill 537 that effectively removes the possibility of any gain time while incarcerated for people who have been charged with an “attempted” sex offense.
If our political leaders truly wanted to reduce the number of sex crimes, thereby making our communities safer, they would pass a bill that funded research-based preventive measures so that we would not have so many sex crimes (victims) in the first place.
As shared before at this site:
Use funding to educate PARENTS to:
- Be aware of the adults in their child’s life.
- Set boundaries/house rules (kids do not sit under blankets with other people, kids are not allowed alone in rooms with only one adult, doors are not closed, house rules must ALWAYS be enforced, etc.).
- Have open communication with their child from an early age about their bodies and protecting their bodies. Maintain this dialog with their children to intervene BEFORE harm occurs.
- Be aware of specific ways that perpetrators target children on the internet and how to prevent this targeting.
- Monitor their children’s real-time internet use in order to learn how to abruptly put a stop to any inappropriate activity.
- Help their child recognize “grooming” behaviors.
- Teach their children to reach out to adults if there are any concerns.
Use funding to educate in SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, WORKPLACES, AND OTHER PUBLIC VENUES to:
- Stop the cycle of abuse.
- Present programs that teach good touch/bad touch, grooming techniques, and the importance of telling someone.
- Raise awareness of the consequences for would-be perpetrators. Research shows that awareness of the consequences is a major deterrent to committing a crime.
- Fund after-school and summer programs for children whose parents could not otherwise afford it. One study showed that most individuals who were abused as children were abused in the after-school hours or during the summer months when there was limited parental supervision. (City University of New York, “Preventing Sexual Violence Where It Most Often Occurs: An Investigation of the Situational and Structural Components of Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Settings”, Nicole Colombino 2017, page 52)
- Identify support resources.
- Ultimately restore families.
- Teach and encourage bystander intervention programs.
- Provide counseling to young people with risk factors or tendencies for sexual violence. Stop requiring counselors and other selected professionals from having to report to law enforcement if an individual reaches out for help with their deviant thoughts, as long as they have not committed a crime.
- Fund efforts to research and advocate for rational and rehabilitative, evidence-based laws.
Use funding to increase victims’ services.