Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Door To Door

I'm all for raising money for the schools around here. It's pretty obvious we could all use the funds in the school system, but I am having such a difficult time dealing with the methods. In our county we have coupon books for sale. These great little books offer some wonderful savings, if you can remember to use them! Ha! Despite my efforts to rest yesterday, I was asked three times to buy a book! Until yesterday I didn't even know I knew that many kids in elementary school. I always buy from the first person that asks and it just so happened to be from a dad I work with and his little kindergartener.

Last night when I was getting Caleb to sleep, a little girl knocked on my front door. She was itty bitty and just the cutest little thing, BUT she was absolutely alone. No parent beside her, no one in my drive way, and no one waiting at the road. She couldn't have been more than six years old and here she was at a stranger's home asking to sell a coupon book. How was she to know I wasn't someone dangerous? There was no one else around. I politely declined and sent her on her way, but it really just ate at me.

Is selling a little book worth risking this child's life?

With all of the sick and demented people running around today, why would any parent let their child go door to door with neighbors they just don't know? I admit that my home looks inviting and I'm sure our neighbors have seen us out in the yard plenty, but you still never know. I wonder if this child's parent is aware that we have a registered sex offender living a street away? Every couple of months I check the registry just to make sure who is actually in our neighborhood. As parents it is our responsibility to keep our kids as safe as possible. When I look out my front door, it seems like no one cares. There are children who are left to play in the street until way past dark. Ryan and I have dodged children darting across the road while going home because no one has taught them to look for cars. I have seen young girls walking up and down the streets alone on an almost daily basis. Why doesn't someone stop to think how easy it would be to just pick a kid up and they could be gone forever???

Call us overprotective or just too cautious, but when Bryce and Madison are with us they just don't get to go outside alone. I'm sure that same rule will apply when Caleb is older. It takes just a couple of seconds to abduct a child and they're gone forever. Why take the chance? There will only be one Caleb Del Signore in the world and he is the absolute most precious thing to me in the world.

Here are some things to consider:

"The serial killer has the same personality characteristics as the sex offender against children"

-Dr. Mace Knapp, Nevada State Prison Psychologist.

• "There are 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, and an estimated 80 to 100,000 of them are missing. They're supposed to be registered, but we don't know where they are and we don't know where they're living.

- Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Childrento co-anchor Hannah Storm on The Early Show

• The most serious and chronic offenders often show signs of antisocial behavior as early as the preschool years.

- (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) (was in Juvenile Justice Bulletin: Nov 1998 OJJDP: U.S. Department of Justice)

• Dr. Gene Abel estimates that between 1% and 5% of our population molest children

-CNN Specials Transcript #454-Thieves of Childhood.

• Nearly all the offenders in sexual assaults reported to law enforcement were male (96%).

- Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement, 7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

• Overall, 23% of sexual assault offenders were under the 18 and 77% were adults - Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,

7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

• 40% of the offenders of victims under age 6 were themselves juveniles. A similar proportion (39%) of offenders of victims ages 6 through 11 were also juveniles. For older juvenile victims, the proportion of juvenile offenders dropped to 27%.

- Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,

7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

•Adults were the offender in 60% of the sexual assaults of youth under age 12. Rarely were the offenders of young victims strangers. Strangers were the offender in just 3% of sexual assaults against victims under age 6 and 5% of the sexual assault of victimizations of youth ages 6 through 11.

-Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,

7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

• 1 in 5 violent offenders serving time in a state prison reported having victimized a child.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• 2/3 of all prisoners convicted of rape or sexual assault had committed their crime against a child.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• Acquaintance perpetrators are the most common abusers, constituting approximately 70-90% of all reported perpetrators.

-Finkelhor, D. 1994.

• 89% of child sexual assault cases involve persons known to the child, such as a caretaker or family acquaintance.

-Diana Russell Survey, 1978

• 29% of child sexual abuse offenders are relatives, 60% are acquaintances, and only 11% are strangers.

-Diana Russell, The Secret Trauma, NY:Basic Books, 1986.

• For the vast majority of child victimizers in State prison, the victim was someone they knew before the crime. 1/3 had committed their crime against their own child, about 1/2 had a relationship with the victim as a friend, acquaintance, or relative other than offspring, about 1 in 7 reported the victim to have been a stranger to them.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• 3/4 of the violent victimizations of children took place in either the victim's home or the offenders home.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• Males are reported to be the abusers in 80-95% of cases

-Thoringer, D., et al., 1988.

• About 60% of the male survivors sampled report at least one of their perpetrators to be female.

-Mendel, 1993.

• All but 3% of offenders who committed violent crimes against children were male.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

•The typical offender is male, begins molesting by age 15, engages in a variety of deviant behavior, and molests an average of 117 youngsters, most of whom do not report the offense.

-Dr. Gene Abel in a National Institute of Mental Health Study.

• Offenders who had victimized a child were on average 5 years older than the violent offenders who had committed their crimes against adults. Nearly 25% of child victimizers were age 40 or older, but about 10% of the inmates with adult victims fell in that range.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• 71% of male offenders are under the age of 35.

-Dr. Ann Burges, Dr. Nicholas Groth, et al. in a study of imprisoned offenders.

• 3/4 of sexual predators are younger than 35. About 80% are of normal intelligence or above.

-Profiles from the FBI Academy and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Though officially, not considered abuse, the highest incidence of incest occurs among siblings.

-Waterman & Lusk, 1986.

• Many clinical settings currently are witnessing a dramatic increase in the number of adolescent offenders who have committed sexually aggressive acts against other children.

-Conte, Jon R., 1986.

• While nearly 70% of those serving time for violent crimes against children were white, whites accounted for 40% of those imprisoned for violent crimes against adults.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• Inmates who victimized children were less likely than other inmates to have a prior criminal record-nearly 1/3 of child victimizers had never been arrested prior to the current offense, compared to less than 20% of those who victimized adults.

--BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• Violent child victimizers were substantially more likely than those with adult victims to have been physically or sexually abused when they were children..

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• 50% of reported child molestations involve the use of physical force and child molesters produce as much visible physical injury as rapists-39% of victims.

-Dr. Gene Abel in a National Institute of Mental Health Study.

• About 14% of child victimizers carried a weapon during the violent crime, compared to nearly 1/2 of those who victimized adults.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• About 10% of violent offenders with child victims received life or death sentences and the average prison term was 11 years, somewhat shorter average sentences than received by those with adult victims.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• More than 1/2 of all convicted sex offenders are sent back to prison within a year. Within 2 years, 77.9% are back.

-California Department of Corrections.

• Recidivism rates range from 18-45%. The more violent the crime the more likelihood of repeating.

-Studies by the state of Washington.

• 3 in 10 child victimizers reported that they had committed their crimes against multiple victims: they were more likely than those who victimized adults to have had multiple victims.

-BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991.

• Like rape, child molestation is one of the most underreported crimes: only 1-10% are ever disclosed.

-FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

• The behavior is highly repetitive, to the point of compulsion, rather than resulting from a lack of judgment.

-Dr. Ann Burges, Dr. Nicholas Groth, et al. in a study of imprisoned offenders.

Please think before you purchase something from a child selling door to door alone. If you make the purchase, does it not encourage the child to keep selling in this manner? Ask where the child goes to school and then phone to school to let them know you disapprove of the method being used. Many schools do assume the parent is going out with the child. If your child is selling something, take the time to help them. Skip a TV show or a little rest after to work if it's that important to them. Get to know your neighbors! Check your local sex offender registry and know who is around you. For Heaven's sake, get out of the mindset that it just couldn't happen to you and your family! Don't let your child be another statistic.

1 comment:

  1. I have never thought about it but the facts are terrifying. I can also be called by someone overprotective but I am very strict with my children about such things because we live in a very tough world. I know that someone can blame me but I don`t want to blame one day myself. I try to be a friend for my children and explain them everything. When my daughter asked about going to her friend to do their tasks together (however it was quite late and dark) I offered her thesis writing assistance and we did it together, using different resources. Certainly next time I can also drive her there but never let her go alone. And, yes, these little kids they really risk. I hope their parents are reading this article too.



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