The current concern over child sexual abuse is clearly due to politics, money, and pandering for votes. This can be easily demonstrated in that non-sexual abuse is far far more common, far far more damaging, with numbers of deaths and physical injuries that far far outnumber those caused by sex related abuse. Yet, the time and energy devoted to non-sexual abuse of children is just nothing compared that given to sexual abuse cases. Sex sells, and people suffer as a result of those who have no conscious and get others to buy into whatever hysteria they can generate that puts money in the bank.
There are now 22 states that restrict where sex offenders may live, such as having rules requireing that a sex offender may not live any closer than 2,000 feet to a school or park, playground, etc.
Now read this taken from the California Department of Justice Website:
Facts about sex offenders.
sexual abusers find their victims by frequenting
such places as schoolyards and playgrounds.
False. Most child sexual abusers offend against children whom they know and with whom they have established a relationship.
These 22 states don't even care what the details of the crime was. All sex offenders are alike and have no business living any closer than 2,000 (or whatever) feet from where children my congregate. Guess what, not all sex offenders committed crimes against children in the first place. And, naturally sex offenders can't walk 2,000 feet, or drive to a school yard.
When in U.S. history has anyone had the right to tell someone else where to live except during racial segregation - which was disgustingly wrong. Such laws are 100 percent unconstitutional. Serious threat offenders do need to be monitored and forcing them to live outside city limits only makes monitoring more difficult. Serious repeat felonious sex offenders, such as repeat rapists and real child molesters (those who actually has sex with children) should go to prison for life. It's as simple as that. If they can't control their urges, then they shouldn't be allowed to live in the public domain. Is a 2,000 foot restriction going to do anything to stop such offenders? Not hardly. These laws are idiotic and only exist to get votes for public officials who support them.
CHILD ABUSE STATISTICS
In 1999, an estimated 1,401 child abuse and neglect related fatalities were confirmed by CPS agencies, nearly 4 every day.
The U.S. Advisory Board reported that near fatal abuse and neglect each year leave "18,000 permanently disabled children, tens of thousands of victims overwhelmed by lifelong psychological trauma, thousands of traumatized siblings and family members, and thousands of near-death survivors who, as adults, continue to bear the physical and psychological scars. Some may turn to crime or domestic violence or become abusers themselves (U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995 report, A National's Shame.)"
Neglect represents the most common type of reported and substantiated form of maltreatment. In 1996, 25 states provided the following breakdown for reported cases: 62% involved neglect, 25% physical abuse, 7% sexual abuse, 3% emotional maltreatment and 4% other.
Seven percent! That's 7 percent!
From another source:
So, as we see, in 2007 4.82 children lost their lives every day due to non-sexual abuse by their own parents. That's 1,600 for that year, but that was 5 years ago. Extrapolating by the average increase from the previous 5 years 3.84 in 2002) to 4.82 (2007), that's 1 additional child a day for 2012, or 5.82 X 365 = 2,124!
It's difficult to find statistics on sexual abuse homicides, but one report states the following:
" ... She says most kids are abused by people they know. And only a tiny fraction of abuse cases end in murder, says David Finkelhor, director of Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. Of the 60,000 to 70,000 arrests each year for sex crimes against children, he says about 40 to 50 involve homicide." That is actually a higher rate than I would have thought, but it still pales in compression to non-sexual abuse homicides of about 6 a day now, or about 2,000 +. If we divide 2,000 non-sexual abuse deaths by the 40 or so sexual abuse deaths, we get 50. So, for every one death of a child by a pedophile there are about 50 deaths of children from non-sexual child abuse!
“According to FBI statistics, over 18,000 people were murdered in 1997.”
“In 1998, 33,622 children age four and under died in the U.S. Of those 2,689 died in accidents and 721 were murdered, which were the two leading causes of dead.”
"1,009,970 children are "maltreated" every year, 906,075 of them by natural mothers,"
"Between 1976 and 1994 an estimated 37,000 children were murdered." This is a little over 2,000 per year."
"Over three children die each day from child abuse (1,211 per year). Since 1985, the number of reported child abuse fatalities has increased over 38%. Over 50% of the children were less than one year of age at the time of death. These figures most likely represent the lowest estimate of the problem."
"Children under 18 account for 11% of all murder victims in the US in 1994. Nearly half of these 2,660 child victims were between 15 and 17
In a single year, 3,012 children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States.
"2000 children per year are killed by drunk drivers"
In 1994, the year Megan Kanka was murdered, there were only 9 other similar murders in the entire U.S. A child being killed by a crazed pedophile is probably the least common cause of death among children, yet no greater focus has ever been placed on a single cause of death of children than sexually related causes. There are more children killed in car air-bag accidents, than by sexual predators. Never have so many suffered so much for the actions of so few. Do drunk drivers have to register, so everyone will know to avoid them? Is a drunk driver likely to drive drunk again?
How Much do Sex Offenders Reoffend?
"Contrary to popular belief, convicted sex offenders have relatively low rates of recidivism compared to other offenders. On average, untreated sex offenders sentenced to prison have a recidivism rate of 18.5%. In comparison, recidivism rates range around 25% for drug offenses and 30% for violent offenses. Thus, people convicted of sex crimes tend to reoffend less than people convicted of many other types of crime."
Sex offenders are of grave concern to the public due to the nature of sexual offending. The public tends to believe that the recidivism rates of sexual offenders, particularly pedophiles, are quite high. This information sheet is intended to provide a quick overview of the research on this topic.
Recidivism is defined as being charged with the commission of a new offence. In the case of sex offenders, the public is most concerned with sexual recidivism - the commission of a new sexual offence. Recidivism rates vary by the time frame being looked at and by the type of sexual offending.
One research project looked at 61 previous studies of sexual recidivism using a 4-5 year follow up period. This research on sex offenders found that 13.4% recidivated with a sexual offence, 12.2% recidivated with a non-sexual, violent offence and 36.6% recidivated with any other offence.1
A long term follow-up study of child molesters in Canada found that 42% were reconvicted of sexual or violent crime during the 15-30 year follow-up period.2
In addition, the long-term follow-up study (15-30 years) of child molesters showed that the average recidivism rate for this group of offenders is actually lower than the average recidivism rate for non-sexual offenders (61% versus 83.2% respectively for any new conviction).
Likelihood of Recidivism
The long term follow-up study referred to above included a control group of non-sexual criminals. The highest rate of recidivism (77%) was for those with previous sexual offences, who selected boy victims outside the family and who were never married.3
In general, rapists reoffend more often than child molesters.4
Among child molesters, those with male victims have been found to have the highest recidivism rates, followed by those with unrelated female victims.5
Incest offenders show the lowest recidivism rates of all sexual offenders.6
Factors Related to Recidivism
Canadian research on what triggers recidivism among sex offenders found that the recidivists were generally considered to have poor social supports, sexual pre-occupations, attitudes tolerant of sexual assault, antisocial lifestyles, poor self-management strategies and difficulties cooperating with community supervision.7
This same study found that the number of recidivists and non-recidivists who had attended treatment programs was the same. However, the recidivists were more likely to have dropped out or to have been described as poor treatment candidates.
Success While on Supervision
Recent amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, designed to deny more sex offenders access to conditional release, suggest that there is a perception that sex offenders on conditional release are at high risk for re-offending or violating conditions. However, studies have shown that sex offenders have success rates on conditional release similar to the general offender population.
A follow-up study of sex offenders on conditional release found that almost 80% were successful on conditional release.8 In comparison, National Parole Board statistics for 1996/97 show that over 85% of offenders on parole and statutory release were successful.9
Treatment is one variable associated with recidivism that can be influenced by correctional programming, making treatment a high priority for sex offenders.10
The public tends to believe that sex offenders are not amenable to treatment. However, successful sex offender treatment programs have been shown to reduce the risk of re-offending.
In terms of treatment, the most highly regarded approach employs a cognitive behavioral model employing relapse prevention in high risk situations.11 This model fits with the Correctional Service of Canada's (CSC) assessment and treatment of sex offenders. CSC focuses on identifying the nature and pattern of the offender's behaviour and providing the offender with the coping strategies that will reduce the risk of recidivism. This approach emphasizes the need for offenders to take responsibility for their actions, recognize their cycle of offending and identify their high risk situations, and helps them develop strategies to avoid relapse.12
Program intensity is linked to offender needs. Moderate to high needs will be met in medium or maximum security settings where programs are longer and more intensive. Offenders who are identified as low risk/needs will be matched with low intensity, short duration programs in minimum security settings, and in the community.
The majority of treatment programs usually include an education component emphasizing attitudes towards sexuality and relationships, empathy enhancement, anger management, victim awareness, techniques to reduce or control deviant arousal and relapse prevention skills. Emphasis is placed on reducing the risk of sexual offending through a combination of self-management and external control.
The public's fear of sex offender recidivism is legitimate. The effects of sexual offending are felt by victims, families and communities for years following the offence.
Over the past few years, Canada has changed both law and practice in dealing with sexual offenders. The following are some of the new initiatives:
The Corrections and Conditional Release Act allows judges to set parole eligibility at one-half of the sentence
Sex offenders can be detained until the end of their sentence
Police are authorized to notify specific individuals or the community at large of the release of sex offender deemed high risk to reoffend
Police can ask the courts to apply a peace bond to sex offenders in the community to restrict their movements, require reporting to police or reside at a particular location
Sex offenders can be declared a Long Term Offender at time of sentencing, meaning that the offender can receive up to 10 years community supervision following imprisonment for at least 2 years
Sex offenders can be declared a Dangerous Offender at time of sentencing, meaning that the offender can be held in prison indefinitely
Criminal records of pardoned sex offenders who apply for positions of trust with children can be revealed upon approval by the Solicitor General
The number of these provisions are relatively new and we need to give them time to work. Together, they make a fairly comprehensive set of protections for the community. Some of them can be used more effectively, and we can continue to build on what we know about treating sex offenders. The success of offenders in the community can be improved through appropriate treatment while in custody, intense relapse prevention programs during conditional release supervision, and long-term follow-up and support for sex offenders on an "as needed" basis at no cost to the offender.
The best protection we can offer any community is the prevention of crime in the first place. The John Howard Society believes that the most effective method of preventing sexual offending is to break the cycle of sexual abuse and violence in homes and families. We know that 50% of men in federal prisons were victims of child abuse or witnessed family violence. Our child welfare workers see kids who, with early intervention and treatment of problems, might not go on to become adult sex offenders. The earlier we work intensively with kids and youths who show sexual deviance, the more successful we are at preventing the creation of an adult sex offender. We know what needs to be done. We just need to make it a priority.
John Howard Society of Alberta
2nd Floor, 10523 - 100 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 0A8
(780) 423-4878 Fax (780) 425-0008
Hanson, R.K. (1997). "Predictors of sex offence recidivism." Research Summary. Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada. http://www.sgc.gc.ca/epub/corr/e199779/e199779.htm
Hanson, R.K. (1996). "Child molester recidivism." Research Summary. Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada. http://www.sgc.gc.ca/epub/corr/e199670/e199670.htm
Hanson, R.K. (1996). "Child molester recidivism." Research Summary. Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada. http://www.sgc.gc.ca/epub/corr/e199670/e199670.htm
Hanson, R.K. & Bussiere, M.T. (1996). Predictors of sexual offender recidivism: A meta-analysis. (User Report: Catalogue No. JS4-/1996-4E). Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada.
Quinsey, V.L., Rice, M.E. & Harris, G.T. (1995). "Actuarial prediction of sexual recidivism." The Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 10,85-105.
Motiuk, L.L. & Brown, S.L. (1996). Factors related to recidivism among released federal sex offenders. Paper presented at the XXVI International Congress of Psychology. Montreal, Canada.
Hanson, R.K. & Harris, A. (1998). Dynamic predictors of sexual recidivism. (User Report No. 1998-01). Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada.
Motiuk, L., & Brown, S. (1994). Sex offenders and their survival time on conditional release. Forum on Corrections Research, 6(3), 11-13.
Correctional Services of Canada. (1997) Basic facts about corrections in Canada (1997 ed.). Ottawa, Ontario: Public Works and Government Services Canada.
Granger, L., McKibben, A., Oimet, M., Perreault, C., Proulx, J., & St-Yves, M. (1996). Improving prediction of sex offender recidivism: A proposed study. Forum on Corrections Research, 8(2), 13-14.
Barbaree, H., Malcolm, B., Peacock, E., Serin, R., & Seto, M. (1997). A model for a clinically-informed risk assessment strategy for sex offenders.
Correctional Services of Canada. (1995). Basic facts about corrections in Canada (1994 ed.). Ottawa, Ontario: Minister of Supply and Services Canada.
Registries give a false sense of security:
Nearly 2 million Texans were sexually assaulted in 2002. A quarter of a million children are sexually assaulted every year in Texas (National Crime Victims Research and Treatment, 2000). In 2003, there were only 45,000 sex offenders on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Database. ... These statistics demonstrate the disparity between “official” sexual assault statistics and the reality of the epidemic. The disturbing reality is that the majority of individuals who abuse sexually will not end up in the criminal justice system and sex offenders on community supervision or on the public registries represent only a small portion of the actual sex offenders living in our communities.
We have often heard that the recidivism rate for sex offenders is 4 times higher than for non-sex related crimes. What we don't hear is that the recidivism rate for non-sex related crimes is a mere 1.3 percent, so four times that is still only about 5 percent. Is a recidivism rate of only 5 percent sufficient grounds for forcing hundreds of thousands of sex offenders to register for life, often putting their own lives in jeopardy in the process?: "Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison--5.3% of sex offenders vs. 1.3% of non-sex offenders."
We have also often heard that adults who were victims of child molestation are likely to become molesters. However, while it is true that offenders that molest children have a higher rate of had being molested than non-child abusers have, most people who sexually abuse were not molested as children themselves: Violent child-victimizers were substantially more likely than those with adult victims to have been physically or sexually abused when they were children, though the majority of violent offenders, regardless of victim age, did not have a history of such abuse.
often heard that Megan's Law
protects children from a child molester that moves
into the area where they live. However, the vast
majority of molestation occurs at the hands of a
relative or acquaintance.
"For the vast majority of child victimizers in State prison, the victim was someone they knew before the crime. A third had committed their crime against their own child, about half 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."
See more related statistics here.
The following is a bit of rather disgusting information, but I place it here to emphasis that what is considered acceptable sexual conduct is sociological, and psychological trauma from non-socially acceptable forms of sex is due to the society's attitudes of the act, rather than the act itself.
"In ancient Greece pederasty, was sex between adult male philosophers or scholars and their young male students through anal intercourse. This form of arete, was considered an honor. In some South Pacific islands, jerungdu, is a rite of passage; where older boys receive oral sex from younger boys to facilitate sexual maturity."