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Seattle Sex Offender Notification Safety Information Packet

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Sexual assault is any sexual activity that is forced. Sexual assault is an act of control,
aggression and anger. The force used against you can be physical such as hitting, being held
against your will, or being threatened by a weapon. It (;llso can be emotional or psychological,
such as being pressured into sex through guilt, being given money or gifts in exchange for sex,
or being taken advantage of while you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
More than 90 percent of sexual assault victims are assaulted by someone they know, such as a
family member, friend, date, acquaintance, or neighbor. Both men and women, boys and girls
can be victims of sexual assault.
Most sexual assaults are planned in advance with the offender seeking an opportunity to find
someone who may be vulnerable to his/her tactics. Offenders seek victims who they believe
are easy targets. There is no guaranteed way to prevent sexual assault, but we can identify tips
for decreasing our vulnerability to offenders. The following are some suggestions to deter a sex
Be careful of your use of alcohol and drugs. Vulnerability increases when one is intoxicated
or high.
Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say "no" to any unwanted
sexual contact.
Communicate your limits firmly and directly. You have the right to expect your limits to be
e Listen to your feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the
situation immediately and go to a safe place.
e Don't be afraid to "make waves" if you feel threatened. If you are being pressured or
coerced into sexual activity against your will don't hesitate to state your feelings and get out
of the situation. Better a few minutes of social awkwardness or embarrassment than the
trauma of a sexual assault.
eAttend large parties with friends you can trust. Agree to "look out" for one another. Try to
leave with a group rather than alone or with someone you don't know well.
e When starting to date a new acquaintance have the first few dates in a public place. Avoid
becoming isolated with someone you don't know well.
e For the first several dates, insist on paying your own way or taking turns with "treating".
Sometimes offenders use the "you owe me" line to try to guilt someone into sex.
As a relationship may progress, avoid becoming physically, emotionally or socially isolated
from friends and family. Assaults within on-going relationships do happen.

Even if we take precautions or steps to make ourselves less vulnerable, there is no guarantee
that we can prevent a sexual assault, remember:

Sexual assault is never the victim's fault.
Victims do not cause their assaults.
Offenders are responsible for their actions.

If you or someone you know is a victim of a sexual assault, there are people and programs who
can help.






"During treatment..(Name).. disclosed that he has been sexually assaulting
children, males and females since he was 8 or 9 years old. His victims range in age from
2 to 10 years old. He groomed his victims by keeping candy, popsicles, and children's
toys in his apartment. He raised birds to attract children; took children to the park, beach
and Mc Donald's; and used children he was baby-sitting to gain access to other victims.
He groomed the parents by offering free baby-sitting; helping out by providing
transportation and money "when they needed it". He disclosed he gains access by
targeting single parents with a large number of children who are not good housekeepers.
In his words, "a mother who doesn't give a damn."


"He played the part of (Name) IS best friend by being around her as much as
possible and telling her she could always come to him if she needed someone to talk to.
He helped (Name) do her homework and her household chores. He played games with
(Name) and took her to the park. Other places he tookher were the malls, toy stores,
clothing stores, and swimming pools. He gave (Name) money and bought her things,
such as new toys, board games, a bike and expensive clothing. When he was babysitting (Name), he would tell her she could do anything she wanted. He told (Name) if she
would let him do what he wanted to her, he would buy her things. To keep her quiet, he
told (Name) that if her mother found out about what "we" were doing, she would be mad
and it would be all (Name)'s fault."

When most people imagine a child molester, they picture some ugly, old man in a trench
coat coaxing children to come to him in exchange for some candy. They don't picture uncle Joe
or aunt Lorraine; the neighbor next door or the friendly parishioner; another family member or
trusted co-worker. They don't think of mom or dad, or in the case of single parents, their
significant other. This misconception has been effectively dispelled through information
obtained in thousands of child sexual abuse investigations over the years. Child molesters
come from all walks of life and from all socioeconomic groups. They can be male or
female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non-religious or from any
Through numerous case studies, the Department of Justice has developed
characteristics and behavioral indicators of a pedophile. They are as follows:

Is most often an adult male.
Is usually married.
Works in a wide range of occupations, from unskilled laborer to corporate executive.
Relates better to children than adults.
Socializes with few adults unless they are pedophiles.
Usually prefers children in a specific age group.
Usually prefers either males or females, but may be bi-sexual.
May seek employment or volunteer with programs involving children of the age of his
9. Pursues children for sexual purposes.
10. Frequently photographs or collects photographs of his victims, either dressed, nude, or in
sexually explicit acts.
11. Collects child erotica and child-adult pornography:
a: To lower the inhibitions of victims.
b: To fantasize when no potential victim is available.
c: To relive his sexual activities.
d: To justify his activities. (The depiction of others engaged in these acts legitimizes
them in the pedophile's mind.)
e: To blackmail victims to keep them from telling.
12. May possess and furnish narcotics to his victims to lower their inhibitions.
13. Is usually intelligent enough to recognize that he has a personal problem and understand
the severity of it.
14. May go to great lengths to conceal his illegal activity.
15. Often rationalizes his illicit activities, emphasizing his positive impact upon the victim and
repressing feelings about the harm he has done.
16. Often portrays the child as the aggressor. This usually occurs after the child realizes that by
withholding "sexual favors" the child will obtain what he or she desires, such as new toys,
clothing or trips.
17. Talks about children in the same manner as one would talk about an adult lover or spouse.
18. Often was a child molestation victim and frequently seeks out children at the age or stage of
physical development at which he was molested.
19. Often seeks out publications and organizations that support his sexual beliefs and practices.
20. Usually corresponds with other pedophiles and exchanges child pornography and erotica as
proof of involvement.

21. Is usually non-violent and has few problems with the law (pedophiles are frequently
respected community members).
The widespread misconception that child molestation consists solely of children being
seized from the street and forcibly molested couldn't be further from the truth. Although these
incidents do occur, the vast majority of child molesters are adults Who seduce children through
subtle intimidation and persuasion and are known to the child.
The incestuous or intrafamilial molester is usually an adult male (father, stepfather,
grandfather or live-in boyfriend of the mother) who molests the child or children. Although
physical abuse may occur, the molestation is usually secretive and is accomplished through
mental duress and threats - that the child would be removed from the family if she did not
succumb to his wishes, that she would be blamed for hurting the family if the offender is
arrested, or that a sibling would be sexually abused if the victim did not consent. The
molestation occurs over an extended period of time, occasionally into the victim's adulthood.
Through intimidation, the child is made to feel responsible for the molestation and for keeping
the acts secret. This secret is normally kept between the offender and the victim, or within the
immediate family.
The stranger molester will use force or fear to molest children. As the term implies, the
child does not know the molester. This type of molestation is usually reported promptly to the
police because the trauma to the child is readily apparent.
The single-parent family is particularly vulnerable to the pedophile; the parent usually
has a full-time job and is attempting to fulfill the role of both parents, as well as run the
household. In many cases the parent is unable to provide the psychological support the child
needs. These situations may contribute to the success of the child molester who can and will
provide the caring attention, however superficial, that may be lacking at home. Of course,
domestic problems in intact families also can make children vulnerable to the pedophile. It
should be noted as well, many pedophiles seek out mothers of single-parent families for the
purpose of victimizing their children.
The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your
child. They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you. If they don't feel they
can talk with you about their true feelings or that they will be "put down" for it, then you can't
expect they will tell you when they are put in an uncomfortable situation by a child molester.
Most child molesters are "masters of communication" with children.
Teach your children that they should not be asked to touch anyone in the bathing suit
areas of their body or allow anyone to touch them in those areas. Teach them types of
situations to avoid. It's not good enough to tell a child to avoid strangers. Most child
molestation's are committed by someone known to or related to the child.
The Seattle Police Department handout "Personal Safety For Children" and the National
Center For Missing and Exploited Children pamphlet "Child Protection", give you excellent
examples of basic safety rules for children. For a list of free child safety pamphlets, call the
National Center For Missing and Exploited Children toll free at 1-800-843-5678, or you can
access them through their web site at
Some of the material in this handout came from the law enforcement training manual entitled "Child Abuse and Exploitation". This
manual is put out by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

At Home•



When moving into a new home or apartment, change all locks on outside
doors. This practice prevents former tenants from entering with old keys.
Install a chain lock inside your door. Be sure that the chain is short enough to prevent
an intruder from removing it and that the screws are long enough to prevent a sudden
violent push from pulling them out.
Install a peephole. Apeephole device is easy to install and inexpensive.
Install a lock on every window that a burglar or intruder can reach.
Consider installing an electronic security system in your home. Many types of burglar
alarms are listed in the yellow pages.
Consider asking the telephone company not to list your street address in the phone
book. This will enable your friends to find your number and prevent unwanted visitors.
Do not leave keys in a "secret" hiding place (Le., under the mat, on a windowsill, in the
mailbox). Much safer, leave your keys with a trusted neighbor.
Keep house keys on a different key ring from car keys. Many successful burglars
conspire with parking lot attendants to have keys duplicated while a car is parked.
Keep your draperies and shades drawn at night, especially if your home is easily
accessible from the street. If a potential assailant sees you alone, he's more likely to
enter the house.
Keep lights on in at least two rooms.
Have doorways and driveways lit at night.
If you return home to find doors or windows open or you suspect a burglary, don't go
into the house - call the police from a neighbor's house.

Telephone Calls •

Never give personal information to a caller you don't know.
If a phone call is becoming obscene or frightening, hang up immediately.
If the caller persists, blow a whistle loudly into the mouthpiece.
Never give a caller a reason to suspect you are alone in the house.
Advise the caller that this call is being monitored.
If threatening or obscene calls persist, report them immediately to the phone company.

On The Sti'eet•

Be aware that walking alone at night may be hazardous to your health.
If you are being followed or you see a man or group further down the street who makes
you feel uncomfortable, cross the street, walk in another
direction, or ask other people walking if you may walk a short distance with them.
• Walk near the curb, in the middle of the street, and away from buildings, trees, and
shrubbery, which can hide potential assailants.
• When walking near the car to your home or apartment, carry your house keys in your
hand, not in your purse. Don't stand in a doorway and fumble in your purse or pocket for
your keys. Have them ready to use.




Be aware, at all times, of your surroundings. Look over your shoulder and behind you
several times while walking. Better to look and/or feel foolish or suspicious than to be
Don't give friendly answers to men who attempt to strike up conversations on the street.
Walk briskly and with purpose - keep walking.
Use a grocery cart when you have many packages. You make a good mark when your
arms are full.
Always dress so that movement is not restricted and your clothing does not make you
more vulnerable.
Try to vary your routine routes of travel. Most rapists have been found to study their
victim's habitual patterns.
While waiting for public transportation, keep your back against a wall (or pole) so that
you cannot be surprised from behind.
Know your routes. Notice lighting, alleys, abandoned buildings, and street people.
Pick out places that you consider safer, places where you can either make a stand or
reassure yourself that you are not being followed or watched (i.e., lit porches, bus stops,
stores, etc.).
If you are going somewhere in a city with which you aren't familiar, check a map, know
where you are going. Looking lost increases vulnerability.

Visitors, Repairmen, Deliverymen •




When alone and answering a door ring, call out "I'll take it, Bill," or "I'll go, Tom." Make
sure the call is loud and clear. Never reveal either in person or on the phone that you are
Never let small children answer the door.
Repairmen who represent utility companies carry identification cards. If a man has none,
get his name and telephone the company he claims to represent before you admit him.
A large number of attacks occur because women allow unidentified strangers into their
homes. Never say to a repairman, "Come in," then check his identification card. Make
him wait outside the door until you are satisfied it is safe to let him enter.
Many assailants gain entry into homes or apartments by pretending to be visitors,
repairmen, or deliverymen. You can avoid such deceptions by installing a peephole. If
you don't have a peephole, make sure your safety chain is hooked before you open your
Ask any deliveryman to leave packages outside the door. Wait until you are sure he's
gone away, then go for the packages.

In A Car•


Picking up hitchhikers is never safe, but if you feel compelled to do so, pick up a woman
alone. You maybe saving a woman from a rapist.
When alone in a car, keep the doors and windows locked and up. If you must keep a
window open, make sure it is the one nearest to you so that you can raise it quickly if
necessary. Keep windows open only enough to admit breathing space - but not to
admit a hand.
Do not travel on deserted roads, especially at night. Better to drive on a well-lit highway
- even though it may take a little longer to reach your destination.







When driving, don't let your gas indicator fall below the quarter full mark. If you feel you
are being followed, head for the nearest police station, gas station, shopping center, or
home with lights.
Do not enter a car without checking to see if someone is hiding on the rear seat or on
the rear floor. Do not enter a car in which a man or group is leaning or loafing. Turn
around immediately and go back to safety.
If you carry a small weapon on the front seat next to you, be sure you know how to use it
and that it is easily accessible. Weapons carried in glove compartments or under seats
may mean nothing if you must hastily search or struggle for them. Road flares are very
good weapons to keep in the car.
If you run out of gas or have an accident, lock all doors and stay inside the car. Accept
no rides from men - wait for the police. If a man wants to help, ask him to send the
repair truck or police from the next exit or nearest phone.
If you see an accident or stranded motorist, before stopping, consider that it might be a
trap set by a rapist. It is probably more helpful to hurry to report it from the nearest
Parking lots and garages are particularly dangerous. When parking your car, note your
position carefully, so that you can go directly to it. When returning to your car, look
around. If you notice anything or anyone suspicious, alert the attendant.

Hitchhiking Is Never Safe •




Try to arrange rides with friends or take public transportation whenever possible. No one
deserves to be raped. You did nothing wrong. The rapist, not you, is responsible for the
attack. You are the victim of a violent crime.
Follow your intuition - trust your feelings. If you feel that a situation is not right, move
out of the situation.
Be aware of your surroundings. In social situations, including dates, be alert to places
and situations that make you vulnerable.
Develop an attitude of confidence to be a survivor.
If you are attacked, consider resisting. Resisting may allow you the opportunity to get
away. Not resisting is no guarantee that you will not be injured. Keep in mind that every
situation is different and only you can decide whether or not it is appropriate to resist.

What You Should Do If You Are Raped •


Do nothing that will change your appearance or the appearance of the place of the rape.
Do not take a bath or shower or douche. Don't even wash your hands.
Get medical attention to check for venereal disease, internal injuries, or the possibility of
pregnancy. Take a change of clothes with you to the hospital.
Report the crime to the police. Reporting the crime does not mean that you must press
charges. But it does allow the police to keep accurate records for future reference and
will provide the necessary evidence and
information needed if you later decide to press charges.
As soon as possible, write as much as you can remember about your attack and the

Parents, teachers and other caring adults often teach children guidelines for bike, water and
street safety. Children do not become fearful of bicycles, swimming pools and crosswalks as a
result of this instruction. Touching safety can be approached in the same straightforward
matter-of-fact manner. Ideas for talking with children about touching safety follow:

1. Include touching safety rules when you talk about other types of safety.
"If you are touched by an someone in a way that you don't feel right about, tell me or
_ _ _ _ about it. We will believe you and help you.
2. Repeat simple safety guidelines often.
"We don't keep secrets about touching in our family"
"Grownups don't usually need to touch children in private areas unless it's for health or
hygiene reasons"
"Never go away with or get in a car with a grown up you don't know, no matter what they tell
"Trust your inner-voice (instincts, judgment) if it's telling you something doesn't seem right"
3. Establish your own set of family rules.
"Do not let others know if you are home alone"
"Your opinion is important when we try a new babysitter or have a problem with a babysitter"
"You can say "no" to anyone who wants you to break one of our family rules. I will back you
"You can ride in a car with
but not with anyone else without asking
4. Play "what ifs" to practice decision-making.
"What if you were playing (someplace you aren't suppose to play) and a man or woman tried
to make you get in their car?"
"What if you and I got separated at the shopping mall"
"What if someone we know really well touched you in a confusing way and asked you to
keep it a secret"
"What if a person offered you money (or something you really wanted) if you would break
our family rules"
5. Help children develop assertiveness skills. Practice responding verbally:
"I don't tell people that"
"I don't want to be tickled. Could we take a walk instead"
"Leave me alone, I'll tell"
"I'm not allowed to do that"
UNo 'J
Practice responding non-verbally:
Taking someone's hand off them, running away, moving away, standing tall, shoulders back,
looking person in the eye, shaking head.

6. ,Teach Children that adults aren't always right
"Most adults touch children in appropriate ways, but some adults are mixed up and don't
make good decisions about touching children"
"If you aren't sure about something a grownup says or does, ask me to help explain it"
.7. Teach children that there arecertain things that adults, older children and babysitters
shouldn't do
"No one has the right to put their hand down your pants, force you to touch them, touch your
body if you say "no" or touch your private body parts"
8. Help children develop a dignified vocabulary for parts of the body.
Children with no words other than slang or family names might be embarrassed to ask for
help with a touching problem. The correct terms for body parts "breast, penis, vagina" are
dignified and enable children to express themselves clearly. A Possible substitute for
medical terminology might be "private body parts" or "the parts of a body that are covered by
underwear or a bathing suit".
9. Teach children that touching safety rules apply all the time
They just don't apply with strangers or with babysitters. We do our children a great
disservice when we talk to them only about "stranger danger," since over 90 percent of all
sex crimes are committed by someone known to the victim. Teaching children that touching
safety rules apply ALL THE TIME, whether it's by a stranger or someone they know, is
important in safety instruction. Remember: It's uncommon for a child to be sexually abused
by a stranger.



What is "Community Notification" all about?
An individual who has been convicted of a sex offense, kidnapping offense, or
another related offense, has been released from a prison, work release, or other secure
facility, and is living within the city limits of Seattle. The purpose of this information is to
provide you and your loved ones with additional strategies for crime prevention and
detection. Strategies you may not have thought about if you were unaware of the
background of this offender, or had no knowledge of his/her release, or place of
residence. Washington statutes provide the opportunity for the Seattle Police
Department to give you the information you need, so that you may make good decisions
with regard to the safety of yourself and those around you.
An offender who appears on one of the official, state sex offender websites has been
convicted of a crime that requires registration with the county sheriff's office where he or
she resides; in this case King County. By registering, lawenforcement is informed of any
changes in an offender's residence. This information is regularly updated and
maintained on a computer system by the Washington State Patrol, King County Police
and the Seattle Police Department Sex Offender Detail.

Why is this offender moving into my community?
An offender whose bulletin appears on one of the official, state sex offender websites
has committed a crime that has been reported to a police agency. That agency
investigatedthe report and arrested the individual. The local prosecuting attorney for that
jurisdiction determined the criminal statutes violated. They charged the suspect with
those violations and went to court to convict this individual of those crimes.
The offender was either found guilty by a judge or jury, or as happens in most of
these cases, pled guilty to the offenses with which he or she was charged. When an
offender is released from prison, he or she usually returns to the same area of residence
from which they lived when the crime was committed. Most offenders are released to the
jurisdiction that originally gained the conviction. Sometimes offenders are released to
another jurisdiction because they may have family support there, additional treatment to
complete at a program located in the other jurisdiction, or they may have found a job in
the area that will lead to a productive lifestyle.

If this offender is so dangerous, why are you letting him out in the first place?
Washington is one of the states that has specific sentence lengths for each crime.
These sentence lengths are called presumptive sentences and are determined by the
Washington State Legislature (this is called determinate sentencing). When the offender
was sentenced to prison by the jUdge, the length of required prison time was previously
established for that offense by the Washington State Legislature, and it applies to
anyone convicted of the same offense.
Someone with no previous offenses has a shorter sentence, than someone who has
been in trouble before. A person who has a previous offense against a person, will be

sentenced to a longer term than someone whose previous offense was a property crime.
These possibilities are included in the sentencing guidelines.
On some occasions, judges don't follow the guidelines. This is called an exceptional
sentence. When a judge has a compelling reason to depart from the sentencing
guidelines, he or she must submit the reasons for that departure into the court record.
At some point in time, the offender will have served the sentence required by law and
must be released. Once the sentence is finished, neither the Seattle Police Department,
or the court has the power to tell the offender where to live or work. Information provided
by one of the official state sex offender websites is supplied to inform you of the location
the offender has chosen to reside, and/or those other plpces the offender is most likely
to conduct legitimate activities.

Don't most of these offenders get sentenced to long prison terms and just get
right back out again?
This is simply not true. Washington sex offenders are sentenced to more time, and
serve more of that time in prison, than in almost any other state. In Washington, sex
offenders must serve at least 80% of their sentence in prison, and then they serve the
remainder of their sentence in the community, in a situation called "community
supervision." They are supervised by a community corrections officer, and are required
to report regularly. In addition, they must fulfill other requirements of the conditions of
release, in order to stay out of prison. These requirements may include, but are not
limited to: no consumption of alcohol, regular attendance at AA or other help groups,
holding a steady job, having no contact with the victim(s) or witnesses, no contact with
minor children, and they must comply with sex offender registration.

Don't these offenders just go to prison and sit around all day?
When an offender goes to prison, a number of important activities are initiated to
ensure thaUhe offender gets the kind of controls and support required. These activities
are based on the type of offense for which they have been convicted and help identify
the type ofcriminal behavior an offender committed in the past (if any).
Many offenders have problems with chemical dependency. They will have an
opportunity to participate in chemical dependency treatment. Other offenders are found
to be illiterate, and are offered basic education programs. Those convicted of a sex
offense, or another crime that is related to a sex offense, will generally be offered an
opportunity to participate in sex offender treatment.
All inmates must either work or participate in treatment. They do not sit around all day
and do nothing. If they do not participate in their assigned treatment, they can be forced
to do more time in prison. If they refuse to work, they will be disciplined. Discipline
usually entails being segregated from the other prisoners in solitary confinement.
All of these activities are designed to provide offenders, who want to avoid future
problems with the law, an opportunity to learn the things they need to know in order to
stay out of trouble. The most important reason the offenders are encouraged to
participate in these programs, is to reduce the likelihood they will fall into the same
patterns of past behaviors; hopefully, preventing them from committing another crime
and victimizing another person.

Why are you only telling me about this offender and not all of the other people
who get out of prison?
The Community Protection Act of 1990 only involves those offenders who have
violated the criminal sexual statutes, the kidnapping statutes, or other statutes with a
finding of sexual motivation.
The End of Sentence Review Board utilizes a sex offender screening tool that was
developed by clinical psychologists who are experts in the field of sex offender
recidivism in the United States and Canada. Based on past behaviors demonstrated by
convicted sex offenders, this screening tool determines whether an individual poses a
high risk to the public when they are released. This does not necessarily mean that they
will commit a new crime, but that they are part of a group of persons who are most likely
to. A majority of the individuals in this group will not commit another crime; however, the
experts have determined that some of these persons have a greater likelihood of future
offenses than do others.
There is a group of items in this screening tool that receive scores, assigned by the
End of Sentence Review Board, before offenders are released from prison. The total of
these scores determines which "risk" category the offender will be assigned. This
process is called "actuarial risk prediction." This means that there is some statistical
basis for public concern about the future behavior of people identified as part of this
Doesn't this mean that it is just a matter of time before the offender commits
another crime?
The actuarial risk prediction process is much like the process insurance companies
use when determining the insurance costs of a particular driver. If the driver has
speeding tickets, they will pose a greater risk to be in a traffic accident than drivers who
have not; thus, they will pay more for their insurance. Those drivers who have had a
DUI conviction pay more for their insurance because they are more likely to get in an
accident than speeders. When someone gets enough tickets, they have to buy "risk"
insurance because they have the greatest risk of being involved in an accident. Not all
speeders or persons convicted of driving while intoxicated get into accidents. In fact,
most of them will not even have accidents; it's just that they are statistically more likely to
have an accident than are other drivers.
Similarly, not all offenders with a high score on the risk assessment tool, or even
most of them, will commit another crime. They are just more likely to commit another
crime than an offender with a low score. Individuals who score really high on this
screening process are referred to the county prosecutor for review for civil commitment
after they are released from prison.
There is no known way that anyone can accurately predict the future behavior of
another person. The process of screening individuals in prison places them into risk
categories. This doesn't mean that the End of Sentence Review Board has devised a
way to predict future behavior. Rather, it means that there is a scientific way to evaluate
an offender's past behaviors by comparing their past behaviors with other individuals
who have been out of prison for awhile. This shows how offenders might act once they
are released.

Now that I know a sex offender lives in my neighborhood, what should I do
differently to protect my family and myself?
Open communication between parents and children are vital components of family
safety. In general terms, tell your children that this person has hurt someone before.
Explain to them that they should stay away from this individual. Review safety tips, and
be aware of common lures. Remember, the purpose behind community notification is to
reduce the chances of future victimization of persons by this offender. The information
gained through this notification should assist you and your family in avoiding situations
that allow for easy access to victims. Don't harass your neighbor. An offender put in a
stressful state is more likely to re-offend. We need to help them succeed. We all win
with fewer victims.
What do I tell my children aboutthis offender?
Avoid scary details. You may know more than your children need to know. Keep
information general, as it may protect them from others who would try to harm them as
well. Explain the importance of avoiding dangerous situations in general, rather than
trying to teach them how to be safe from just the one person you know about. Over 90%
of all sex crimes are committed by someone known to the victim; many of those
incidents are committed by family members or someone who is NOT a stranger to the
Some basics:
DON'T accept a ride from the offender.
DON'T go into the home or yard of the offender.
TELL your parents if this person offers you toys, money, or gifts.
TRY to use the buddy system when children play outdoors.
CALL 911· if your parents aren't home and this offender approaches you.

Are you going to tell us if the offender moves out of this neighborhood, so we
don't have to worry anymore?
No. The information shared about sex offenders is basic safety information that we
should all be aware of. There are many sex offenders in Washington, as well as in every
other state. It would serve no purpose to have people relax, or not follow safety
measures because the sex offender they knew about moved from the neighborhood.
Sex offenders, like anyone else, establish friendships and business relationships in the
area where they are living. There is no reason to believe they would give up these
relationships just because they have moved to another part of town or county.

It is a fact of life that individuals who commit sex offenses against children live
among us. They are co-workers, neighbors, parishioners, and respected members of
the community. And ·they all have families. They are our parents, our brothers and
sisters, our children. What this means is that we all have an opportunity to protect
children from sex offenders.
Yet the greatest difficulty we face as a society that is trying to deal with the
problem of sexual offending is that we have trouble reconciling our views about sex
offenders in the abstract with our attitudes toward sex offenders whom we know.
Virtually all citizens believe that sexual abuse of children is a heinous crime that
should be punished severely. Legislatures pass increasingly harsh laws and the
community demands that child molesters receive long sentences. Ex-offenders are
widely believed to represent a continuing danger to children. When it comes to
someone we know being convicted, or even being accused, of a sex offense, all of a
sudden it becomes less clear how he or she should be treated.
Sex offenders are often able to gamer the support of the community or family
members. Sometimes, even when there is no doubt about guilt or in cases where
the offender has confessed, supporters will assert that the accused could not
possibly have committed the crimes or does not fit the profile. Family and friends will
"go to bat" on behalf of certain offenders. It will be claimed that this offender is not
like other sex offenders and is not a danger to the community, that the crimes were
not so serious or were a case of bad judgment, that he or she does not deserve the
punishment the law dictates. The fact that children have been sexually assaulted
and potentially harmed is disregarded, overlooked, or minimized.
The reason that people react this way is because sex offenders are more like
us than they are not like us in many cases. The majority of child molesters are not
antisocial and deviant in all aspects of their lives. They may be quite ordinary in most
ways. They may even have positive attributes and qualities. It is very hard to
integrate the public persona of sex offenders with the image or idea of them being
sexual with children. This dissonance is often resolved in favor of the less disturbing
interpretation that people are more or less what they seem, not that they have
sordid, secret lives.
The other big problem that we have in protecting children from sex offenders
is that we expect the government to do it for us. When there is a re-offense, the
police, the prosecutors, the judges, the community corrections officers, and the law
are blamed. It is clear that these authorities do have responsibility and that they
sometimes fail in carrying out their obligations. But when it comes right down to it, it
is those who know and interact with sex offenders who can do the most to prevent
sex offenders from re-offending.
Lucy Berliner
Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress
University of Washington

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
Resources include pamphlets on:
A Child Is Missing
A Family Resource Guide
Blog Beware
Familv Abduction
Is this your CHILD?
Just in Case... Childcare Provider
Just in Case


Just in Case


Know the Rules

Abduction and Kidnapping

Know the Rules

For Children Who Are Home Alone

Know the Rules

General Tips Parents and Guardians

Personal Safety for Children
When Your Child is Missing

Netsmartz to teach your child Internet safety.
One of the best child safety sites on the Internet.

King County: