Sep/Oct
2016

Sex Offenders – Protect your Children and Yourself

Written by Danielle Teal
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Alex Bunger, M.S., community corrections supervisor in Olmsted County, works with sex offenders on a daily basis. When asked what types of sex offenders there are, he says, “It’s difficult to put a sex offender in a specific category.” There are different factors that contribute to sex offenses. As such, we must understand the different typologies of sex offenders. 

Become Informed

There are two distinct Groth typologies of sex offenders: child sex abusers and rapists. Within these typologies are categories of motivations and reasons for committing sex crimes.

Child sex abusers are categorized as pedophilic and non-pedophilic. The pedophilic have a sexual attraction specific toward children. They may or may not act on their impulses. Non-pedophilic offenders may have sexual contact with children if they have experienced stress in their life—using it as a coping tool or to substitute for an appropriate partner.

 Rapists commit their crimes for multiple reasons. Anger rapists commit the offense out of anger and hostility and not necessarily for sexual pleasure. Power rapists possess their victims and cause physical harm. Sadistic rapists are the most dangerous since they feel sexual pleasure in harming their victims and enjoy watching them suffer.

Protect Your Child

You might be surprised to hear that there are many pedophiles in this world who do not act on their impulses. There are also many who do act on their impulses and are not caught. Bunger says, “Most victims know the abuser,” and “there were warning signs.” 

A lonely child may be more vulnerable for attention from someone else. The abuser may try to shower a child with gifts and attention and then try to get the child alone with them. Protect your child by being with them yourself or having someone you trust look out for them. You cannot possibly be present all the time, so it is imperative to discuss with your child the difference between good touch and bad touch. If your child tells you they don’t feel comfortable with someone, believe them.

Protect Yourself

“Statistically speaking, someone jumping out of the bushes to grab someone and rape them is pretty low,” Bunger says. “But there are ways you can protect yourself from being a potential victim.”

First of all, be aware of your surroundings and stay off your cell phone in unfamiliar areas. When you go on dates with people you are just getting to know, don’t drink alcohol and watch your beverages. Always park in well-lit, visible areas, travel in twos or threes and ask for a security escort if you are unsure of your safety. Keep your house and vehicles locked. Always have your keys ready. Don’t put yourself in vulnerable situations.

Notification of Sex Offenders

According to “The Community Notification Act- Fact Sheet” (2014), offenders are required to register as a predatory offender and are assigned a risk level before they are released from prison or a treatment center. A community notification occurs when the offender is released.

Level 1 – Lowest Public Risk:  Notifications may be sent to
victims of and witnesses to the crime, other law enforcement agencies and anyone identified by the prosecuting attorney to receive
the information.

Level 2 – Moderate Public Risk: In addition to the above, notification may be given to schools, daycare centers and other organizations where individuals who may become victims of the offender are regularly found. Law enforcement may also choose to notify certain individuals that they determine to be at possible risk.
The information is not to be redistributed by organizations. 

Level 3 – Highest Public Risk: requires broad public notification, usually done through a public meeting. Law enforcement may also notify individuals and agencies included in Level 1 and Level 2 notifications and may use the media and other distribution methods to inform the public.

It is important to know if a sex offender lives in your neighborhood or an area that you or your children frequent. This website
https://coms.doc.state.mn.us/Level3/ lists beyond Level 3 offenders. When Level 3 community notification meetings are held in Rochester, they are announced in news media.

Danielle is a freelance writer.

REFERENCES

Chapter 3: Sex Offender Typologies. (2016). Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved 2 August 2016, from http://www.smart.gov/SOMAPI/sec1/ch3_typology.html

Community Notification Act - Fact Sheet. (2016). Minnesota Department of Corrections. Retrieved 2 August 2016, from http://www.doc.state.mn.us/pages/files/3713/9878/6651/Jan_2014_Community_Notification.pdf

Sexual assault and abuse | womenshealth.gov. (2016). Womenshealth.gov. Retrieved 2 August 2016, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/types-of-violence/sexual-assault-and-abuse.html

The Etiology of Sexual Offending Behavior and Sex Offender Typology: An Overview. (2016).Csom.org. Retrieved 2 August 2016, from http://www.csom.org/train/etiology/4/4_1.htm