All parents fear bad things happening to their children. This isn’t too surprising when it seems like every other day there is yet another thing threatening children’s safety in some way or another.
Wanting to protect our children and their innocence as long as possible tends to mean that there’s little that a parent fears more than their kids being sexually assaulted either by a stranger or a suspicious person in their life. Frankly, given the statistics, we don’t blame them one bit.
According to the United States Department of Justice, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 20 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before they’re 18. That statistic alone is terrifying and leaves most of us feeling constantly paranoid about even letting our children leave the house.
It’s understandable, but we can’t live in fear. We must arm ourselves with knowledge by finding out where potential threats (like sex offenders) are located.
But, how do we find out where sex offenders are located?
All kinds of websites are specifically designed to find sex offenders in our area. Most of these sites are free and will locate registered sex offenders that live near us based on our address and the suspicious person’s address and/or name. Actually, the FBI has a website specifically aimed at helping people find sexual predators in their area.
However, these sites generally will only track down registered sex offenders. While the laws are quite strict regarding sex offenders, some of the registration eventually falls on the predator. For example, according to the Office of Justice Program SMART, a sex offender must be registered in the jurisdiction they plan to live in before leaving prison. However, after that, it’s up to the offender to keep all information current. Considering the high penalties for not doing so (up to 10 years in prison), it seems likely that most do. But that some go unregistered.
Plus, SMART also notes that only tier 3 sex offenders must be registered for life. This means that sex offenders past their required registration time (only 15 year for tier 1 and 25 years for tier 2) could be living nearby without our knowledge if we’re only using sites that track registered sex offenders.
And, let’s be honest – sex crimes must start somewhere, and we can’t really trust anyone completely (especially with kids). In fact, the US Department of Justice notes that in all age groups people usually know their attacker in cases of sexual abuse. Even more reason to be performing background checks on, well, probably everyone in our lives (especially those we allow around children).
So, what’s the safest way to ensure no sex offenders live in our neighborhoods?
The easiest way to track down a sex offender is by using services to perform a free background check on people. Sites such as GoLookUp also have services that specifically scan for sex offenders in our area.
But, as we noted before, sex offender registries may not always be enough. Plus, wouldn’t we want to know about all the crimes the people living near our children have been convicted of? Laws vary a bit state to state. However, we can usually find the information we need to know if a person isn’t trustworthy by performing a background check on sites like GoLookUp.
This is possible because even if the person is no longer registered as a sex offender then, by performing a background check, we can still find court records, arrest records, criminal records, and even mugshots.
Therefore, the easiest way to keep our kids as safe as possible is by using these types of sites to find all registered sex offenders in our area. Then, find any people falling through the metaphorical cracks by performing an extensive background check on anyone we allow around our children.