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Sex Criminals Can Wreak Havoc On Kids

We forget sometimes that the minds of children do not function like the minds of adults. A child-development textbook, for instance, related an anecdote in which a preschooler sobbed as he played with an animal toy that “mooed” when turned upside down. The child urged his parents to rescue the poor cow trapped inside.

So for children to grasp that some adults might hurt them is a lot to expect. We can warn them every day about bad touching, but a sweet-talking adult, an expert at the pedophile trade, can manipulate the trusting mind of a child.

If children are sexually abused, they will be messed up for life, unless they get help and lots of it. Fairchild killer Dean Mellberg was raped at age 7. Susan Smith, who killed her own sons, was sexually molested by her stepfather. Those are extreme cases, but molested children are all at risk for later problems with alcoholism, battering, teen pregnancy, chronic physical and emotional illnesses.

So adults in our society must use every available means to protect children from sexual abuse.

The city of Spokane is contemplating the addition of one more tool in this fight. It is working on plans to broadcast on City Cable 5 the name, address, crime and photograph of anyone convicted - or arrested with prior convictions - for any sexual or physical abuse crimes against children. Information also would be broadcast about sexual offenders released after serving their sentences.

We applaud the effort, because it will allow neighborhoods to be aware of the risks to their children. Those against the plan argue that men and women who serve time for their crimes should have a chance to start life anew. But people who sexually molest children are not easily rehabilitated, and funding for programs to help them rehabilitate is always being cut. And those who sexually abuse children claim many victims. An eight-year national study of 403 molesters revealed that they had assaulted more than 67,000 children!

If those convicted of sex crimes have truly reformed, what can it hurt for their neighbors to observe this change? Adults who abuse children shouldn’t be allowed to get on with their lives too easily, because the children they damaged will struggle for years to piece back together theirs.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see headline: Sex offenders need more compasion

Show them Society must protect molesters’ potential victims

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From Both sides CREDIT = Rebecca Nappi/For the editorial board

For opposing view, see headline: Sex offenders need more compasion

Show them Society must protect molesters’ potential victims

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From Both sides CREDIT = Rebecca Nappi/For the editorial board



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