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Comments about ‘Secret shame: Utah's sex offenders and their victims’

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Published: Sunday, March 16 2008 12:15 a.m. MDT

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Riverton Resident

What? No mention of what my Representative did this year in passing Jessica's law??? Come on! That should have been the biggest story of the year, and the media keeps forgeting about it. As a delegate who pays attention to policy in Utah, I am disappointed in the things that get forgotten.

Look Out!

Whoa. Is this what I wanted to read on a Sunday morning? Or any other morning? The world is such a sad place.

realitycheck

Let's not assume that "money, acclaim and notoriety" can heal the wounds of any sexual abuse survivor. That just diminishes the suffering of every survivor, regardless of status. And I also thought this article was biased toward offending males. There are plenty of female perpetrators. They are either increasing or becoming more reported. Perhaps both.

Observer

So the net of the story is things are pretty bad, lots of cases go unreported, and treatment dollars are inadequate, even if some treatment can be found that really works, which is doubtful. What about prevention? What is being done to de-sexualize childhood? Okay, you've sensationalized the problem, now what's your solution?

Bill O.

Treatment is not very effective with the vast majority of sex offenders. In fact, the recidivism rate is as high as 95%. These programs need to show valid and reliable evaluations that treatment is effective in preventing recidivism and THEN we should consider increasing treatment options. Otherwise, incarceration may be the best way to protect potential victims.
Treatment for victims should be our first priority as that will treat the innocent and prevent the victim from becoming an abuser later on.

Utah Citizen

Also no mention of the negative influence that the mass media that stimulates these perpetrators to evil. Stop the root cause. But alas, all the neo-cons are squawking about same-gender marriage. That issue does not lead to all of these felony crimes being perpetrated on our children.

Many studies show the junk on the internet and tv and movies is a serious contributing factor. How come legistators at fed, state and local levels do nothing about it? How come there are not any publis service announcements to warn the public.

How do you stop all of these felonies.

Concerned Parent

As the mother of four daughters, it frightens me to realize that statistically at least one of my daughters could be a victim of sexual abuse. I am glad the Deseret News put this in the Sunday paper. Shying away from the reality will not solve and obviously escalating problem. It may not be what we want to read, but kudos to the DesNews for putting it front and center on the highest circulation day so that the most people would have to pay attention (or at least notice the title).

Thank you

Keep them locked up!!

Sad

Not wanting to read it on a Sunday or any other morning in the paper! This is a fact of life - one that needs to be dealt with. Yes it is a sad world and people not wanting to be informed so that people in these sad events can be helped make it an even sadder world. If you don't want to see more of this in the papers then get out there and do someting to help!!!

What if I had told?

Everyone talks about harsher and harsher punishment, but when that is the case it makes the choice to come forward much harder for a victim who knows their perpetrator.

I didn't want my brother-in-law to go to prison, even though I knew what he had done with me was wrong.

He went on to raise a fine family with eight children.

What if I had told?

The families need to stop it...

I have known several families where such abuse happens and the families fawn and flutter about how it is "not that big a deal". Children are being hurt and people are uncomfortable dealing with the issue, so they don't. I was a victim of sexual abuse by a friend of the family. Looking back, I can't understand how my parents didn't confront it. There were so many signs. And I grew up in an upper-class neighborhood of good church-going, educated people in PROVO.

Families need to be more careful. They need to see abuse for what it is and not try to justify or under-react to troubling issues, especially by predatory loved ones. Uncle Joe may have mowed your lawn for 20 years, but just because he is a 'nice guy' doesn't mean he couldn't be a child predator.

I applaud the LDS Church for taking a tougher stance in recent years and implementing new policy that makes it more difficult for children to be hurt in youth settings.

Forgiveness should not supersede justice where sexual predators are concerned.

What? once more

I meant to say that familial abuse has a recidivism rate of only 2%. Sorry.

Anonymous

This is especially for Bill O: the DOJ statistics are that sex offender recidivism is the lowest of virtually all categories of offenders. What you say is true for the very small minority of predatory offenders - the sexual sadist, the narcissistic personality disordered and the antisocial personality disordered - they are rarely helped by treatment whether they are burglars or DWIs or sex offenders. The actual highest recidivism rate is from domestic abusers - wife or husband beaters.

With that in mind, I agree that treatment of targets of sexual abuse is far more important than any other single step. But we must stop calling them "victims" for their entire lives. One can recover and become a survivor, but not if one is allowed to make the abuse the primary and only focus of anyone's attention to them. People recover from all sorts of terror and negativity to become good, productive and healthy people - please give these targets that same option.

Marina

Bill O. Your data is incorrect. Recidivism rates are exactly the opposite. According to a US Department of Justice Study recidivism rates for sex offenders are actually 5% in the first 3 years after release (the time period studied.) Treatment DOES work but they need funding and education. You are a prime example. If 95% reoffended then we would see a decrease in sexual abuse victims as the prison population increased. Just the opposite is happening.

Education is our only hope. We have to educate our children and ourselves on where the real dangers lie.

My son is a sex offender

I can't help but wonder if I helped ruin his life by insisting that we call the police when we discovered what he had done to a younger relative. Perhaps we should have treated this as a "family" matter?

Anyway, he will be in prison for at least ten more years, and he will ALWAYS have to register as a sex offender.

Reading this article about how many sex offenders now fill our jails makes me wonder if we, as a society, as handling this the right way.

ex offender

I made a couple of posts that were not allowed for whatever reason. I stated facts and not fiction but evidently DMS doesn't want all sides to this issue.

I abused my daughter by inappropriate touching almost 20 years ago and I am so very sorry for what I did. We have a good relationship now but that doesn't mean I don't feel the shame for what I did.

That said, society doesn't want to allow sex offenders who have straightened out their lives and made the changes needed to be part of society again.

What most laws concerning sex offenders deal with is the emotion and not the reality of the law.

Bill O has no idea what he is talking about with his saying that 95% of sex offenders are recidivist. He can say it but he can't back it up.

Most sex offenders are first time offenders that know their victims because they are family, friends, teachers, church members, and others.

Reality bites but treatment works for most that want to get better. Don't go lumping everyone in the same category.

wow

To what if I'd have told.

Hopefully your brother-in-law is not raping and violating one of his eight beautiful children from this "fine family" that he has raised. I hope one or more of them are not living a nightmare at the hands of their father because of the wonderful decision that you made to not tell. I have my doubts about this father of eight children.

History

For years before current times, sex abuse in families had been treated internally. It is good that much of that is out in the open.

But the laws of today do hinder them getting the help they need. As more and more people see what these laws are doing to the families they are supposed to protect, we are going to see families start to handle it internally again, especially where young offenders are concerned.

The public wants to put scarlet letters on these people. Yes, there are those that really need to be locked up for life, and there are some that need to be constantly supervised for life, but most will not offend again and be law abiding the rest of their lives. That is, unless society won't let them.

Treatment vs. lock'em up

Bill O.'s statistic is incorrect. According to Rod Decker in a 2 news story about 6 months ago, of sexual offenders who COMPLETE treatment successfully, only about 5% ever offend again. And the DOJ statistics are also reflective of this.

Which gives credence to an argument this article makes: Find ways to fund the treatment of these offenders so they won't keep harming people in the future!

re: What if I had told

I know it is not an easy decision, but your inaction allowed a predator to go free. Just like was said before- Just because he's a nice guy doesn't mean he won't hurt another kid.

HE chose to abuse, you chose to keep it quiet. The accountability is lost, and I hope his kids (or grandchildren) will not suffer because of it, but statistics say he will abuse again, and again, and again. I would be mortified if I married a man who his family knew he had predatory past behaviors and didn't inform me.

I seem to remember something about a millstone...

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