Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blog Overview: TERMS "Sex Offender," "Minor Attracted Person," and "Sex Crime"

Important Considerations:
The Community Room is a Resource and Referral service. For the most part folks come, for personal reasons or for someone they know, looking for helpful information. Please choose the most appropriate, and follow that section below:

Considering oneself TRANSGENDERED in no way
alters whether the person COULD be a sex offender
or attracted to minors, etc.:

Term "Sex Offender" (LifeAfter the Criminal Justice System)

Why and When we use "Sex Offender" or Sexual Offender, SVP, etc.: The biggest problem with these terms are, they make folks think "it just happened," and I do believe that is exactly what politicians want folks to believe. Here we feel use of "sex offender" is on the level of, use of the "N" word or use of "Nazism," and so many others. Offensive on multiple levels.

As much as I would rather not use sex offender or variation, many discussions are impossible or become overly bloated with words trying to get around the phrase, so I use them and generally qualify the use. Based on the issue being discussed, I will use a more appropriate word: ex: When speaking about registries, I will use "registrants" or "former offenders" and not "sex offenders" for obvious reasons.

Sanitizing the language, of a specific word or phrase, sends a message to readers, and that could be perceived negative (i.e., denial), and the message I'd rather send is, appropriate use of alternate words when possible.

We must remember, that laws, rules, ordinances, guidelines, and policies covering the subject of "sex offenders" (i.e., former offenders) were written by lawmakers and other officials, and all of these documents use the words "sex offender" and worse. There is no way to discuss these documents, nor seek to get them changed, without using the same references that is used in those documents. If we try to sanitize our discussions and expect the originators of those documents to understand what we are talking about without providing them with a dictionary, we are kidding ourselves. They will not listen nor use a dictionary, and will reject overly bloated submissions. If we do not recognize this, and bury pride and do what is necessary to effect change, then we lose the fight to change these laws.

One of the services I provide is "Reviewing Congres" ex:A bill in Congress Affecting Sex Offenders." The way I find these bills is to search through the Thomas website using specific words and phrases. If I were to use sanitized words and phrases, I would not find these bills and folks would not have a heads up on how and when to fight the changes these bills are making. Likewise the news articles I post in my blogs, and the stories of harm of folks or their families. None of this would be possible without the use of -what we call- offensive language.

Next, and this is a little harder to understand, former offenders want their voices to be heard, so they are posting various commentary in websites, blogs and in response to news articles, hoping that the opposition will see it and maybe spark someone to effect some change. The opposition, like I do, searches websites, blogs and news items to see what is out there. Now, if our commentary is so sanitized that it cannot be found, then voices will not be heard. Its common sense. Accordingly, in our effort to lessen the sting, it is easy to defeat our purpose by going too far. A happy medium must be found, I do not have that, and am doing the best I can think of; a PhD or lawyer I am not.

Finally, as I am human and prone to error like anyone, I trust folks will recognize that my intent is honorable and not to offend anyone, even folks from the opposition. Accordingly, if folks see a better way -without bloating the language- to say or describe something, please e-mail me and I will do my best to amend whatever it is.
Who is a Sex Offender (i.e., former sex offender): Even with everything said above, we must also determine the "Who Is." So that nothing is misconstrued everything written in any of my blogs is based on law, in other words, if the person was declared a sex offender (i.e., former sex offender) based on his/her circumstances and the law at the time and place, then -in general- they are what the law dictates. It is impossible to change history!

That includes some folks who really have no conviction on their record, due to a state procedure which is supposed to lessen the effect of their circumstances, and allowing them to move on in life. Even though that sometimes is a cruel joke played by State legislatures. None of this can I change, nor can I interject personal beliefs and stay with whatever topic might be under discussion.

There is no doubt in my mind, that some folks really are not sex offenders. i.e., those caught urinating in the park, young lovers, those caught experimenting and the ilk. But, that is personal beliefs and for whatever the reasons were, the law felt otherwise, I must accept that and move on with this project.

Term that I think best and am settling on to use (but not cast in stone): I'm thinking, after considering all of the above, that the best term to use is "Former Sex Offender" and "FSO." Now, I do recognize that some have no conviction on record, and generally would not be considered a "sex offender" but their case stemmed from a sex offense or sexual acts and therefore I think FSO is most appropriate.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (Continue with "Whats Happening Today" -OR- Return to "Daily Life Information"

Predator / Predatory:
A More Acceptable Definition

To begin with we want folks to know we do not accept the media or the politicans ways of calling folks "predators," vindictiveness will not control here. We will seek a fairer way of deciding if "predator" applies to a person, if at all.

Now, seeking a starting point we feel ATSA fairly explains "predator" to START with, but needs further considerations before labeling a person with such a damaging label.

ATSA Definition:

"What is a sexual predator?
The definition of "predator" differs from state to state, but is generally reserved for the most dangerous sex offenders. Many states use nearly identical words to describe this type of sex offender and the offenses he perpetrates. In the words of the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act, "predatory acts" are those "acts directed towards strangers or individuals with whom relationships have been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization." The state of California states: "Predatory" means an act is directed toward a stranger, a person of casual acquaintance with whom no substantial relationship exists, or an individual with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization." In some states, the definition includes criteria involving the use of violence, weapons, or causing injury during the commission of a sex crime, or those offenders who have had multiple victims. Repeat offenders, and those who have committed abduction of children or adults for sexual purposes may also be considered predators.

It is important to remember that although recent media attention has been focused on child abduction and molestation, rapists of adult women can also be highly dangerous sexual predators. They often have many victims, and are more likely than child molesters to use violence or weapons to gain compliance from victims. The majority of victims of sexually motivated murders are adult women.
Accordingly, the Communirty Room will use this, and the considerations following it:
Therefore, a person is a "Predator" if his/her actions are "Predatory" meaning their acts are directed toward a stranger, a person of casual acquaintance with whom no substantial relationship exists, or an individual with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization.
However, before attaching such a label other considerations are necessary:

1) Should a juvenile offender be considered a predator simply because one or more of the victim/s are also juvenile? Possibly, but more must be considered, circumstances of each act;

2) Should an adult offender be considered a predator simply because one or more of the victim/s are also adults? Possibly, but more just be considered, circumstances of each act;

3) Should anyone be considered a predator because the title of the criminal law they are charged with makes them a predator without further proof? No;

4) Should a person be charged with multiple crimes at the same time, which prosecutors often do, be considered a predator without considering facts of each charge? No;

5) Does recidivism automatically make a person a predator? Not without considering the facts of each criminal act and the time between acts, if any;

6) ... more coming as folks enlighten us....

This seems a much fairer way of looking at the terms.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (Continue with "Whats Happening Today")

The Term "Minor Attracted Person," (LifeBefore a Conviction)

OK, first we'll assume you are here because you are seeking help in dealing with feelings associated with a minor attracted person (MAP) or have a friend with such.

Now a question: Are you/they currently charged with a crime because of these feelings?
If YES, then you need legal advice, please CLICK;

If NO, there are some options available to you:

OPTION-1: B4U-Act has a FAQ Page Page with all sorts of good information. Review it carefully, and see their Peer Support Group:
Peer Support
B4U-ACT provides peer support through an email group where MAPs can talk with each other about issues related to their emotional well-being. These issues may include coping with stigma, fear, frustration, or secrecy, finding fulfilling relationships, working with mental health professionals, living within the law, or any other issues that may or may not be related to sexuality.

This email group is private and confidential, and administered via GoogleGroups. If you are interested in subscribing, goto their CONTACT page.

OPTION-2: MHAMic website has a vast amount of information which may help and should be reviewed.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (Continue with "Whats Happening Today")

Recently "Charged -or- Accused," of a New Sex Crime

Charged with a new crime?
No doubt a lawyer is in order. We have started a specialized list which hopefully will grow. So you can check there to begin with.

The American Bar Association has an excellent National Legal Resource Guide which can be accessed by state. And, you can also check with your State Bar Association.

Now, in the meantime here are some suggestions from two law firms:
Connecticut Attorney: Norm Pattis.
Michigan law firm: Grabel and Associates.
Key to remember, until you have legal representation: KEEP QUIET (Say Nothing)(especially when in jail or prison, trust NOBODY there), get a lawyer and let lawyer do the talking for you. Lawyers are the folks that know the laws, and they are charged with preserving your rights.

DO NOT talk about the circumstances of a case on the Internet, and ESPECIALLY, never put anything about a case on a Social Network Site like Facebook!
Parents: This is especially true of young folks, parents should teach them to say, "My Parents advised me to say, our lawyer needs to be present before I talk to you." This is critical because courts have held that even when law enforcement lies it is permissible when gathering evidence. Lawyers are needed to protect rights!

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (Continue with "Whats Happening Today")

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Financial child support if unable to get a job? What help is there for children on the convicted?