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Children's rights should be first priority

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 What is it going to take for us to finally get serious about making certain that sex offenders do not have easy access to our children? How many children need to be abducted and murdered before we finally understand that pedophiles and predators cannot be changed and are therefore a continual risk to our children?

As a psychotherapist who works with victims of child sexual abuse and as a survivor myself, I can attest to the far-reaching damage that this form of abuse causes. Although it certainly is possible for victims to experience a great deal of recovery, there will always be remnants of the abuse in their lives.

The compulsion to abuse children is so powerful that most cannot learn to control it - especially because we continue to insist on sending offenders to prison instead of to treatment programs.

Do we want to protect our children or do we want to protect the rights of sex offenders? That seems to be the question.

I'm not sure that putting monitors on sex offenders is the answer, although in lieu of treatment or life prison terms, it certainly is better than nothing. And it is going in the right direction. Some may say this is inhumane treatment, but how is this different from putting a muzzle on a dog that has a history of viciously attacking people? The so-called "rights" of a pedophile do not and cannot outweigh the rights our children have to be safe.

 

Beverly Engel

Los Osos

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