OffenderWatch Blog

Posted: Sep 4, 2018
Categories: Blog Posts
Comments: 0

When it comes to preventing child sexual abuse, most parents want to believe that knowing where their children are and teaching them the fundamentals of “stranger danger” will be enough. However, what do we do when it’s not enough? 

What if:

  • The perpetrator isn’t a stranger at all?
  • Physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities prevent a child from communicating when they might be in danger of being abused, or are actively being abused?
  • What if children find themselves in trouble and have no choice but to ask strangers for help?

Situations like these are more common than many families might think, and they demonstrate the importance of efforts such as The OffenderWatch Initiative. To better illustrate our meaning, we’ll look at some examples that are based on true-to-life events.

Read more
Posted: Aug 23, 2018
Categories: Blog Posts
Comments: 0

Twenty to thirty years ago, most families would not have understood the need for a dynamic resource to locate sex offenders in their area because most families were blissfully unaware of the pervasive nature of sexual crimes against children. There almost certainly were not fewer child predators in those days; there was only less awareness of who they were and how they operated.

Two of the families who unfortunately knew better were the Wetterling and Kanka families. 

Read more
Posted: May 22, 2018
Categories: Blog Posts
Comments: 0

Thanks in part to the widespread use of connective technology, it seems that almost daily we run across a viral Facebook post detailing an attempted kidnapping in a public place or news coverage of a young teenager’s disappearance in which human trafficking is cited as a possible explanation. While most of us would agree that increased awareness is a good thing, parents of young kids and teens may struggle with feelings of fear and helplessness as a result of this cascade of information.

History teaches that the practice of capturing and exploiting people for forced labor, sexual slavery, or other human rights violations (collectively known as human trafficking) is nothing new. What’s new to most Americans is the realization that human trafficking has been happening right under our noses for years, and that many of our “runaways” or unexplained disappearances may have a much more sinister explanation.

Unfortunately, hard facts about human trafficking are tough to find. Many victims are not visible to the general public, aren’t recognized even when they’re seen, or had already “slipped through the cracks” of the system before they were exploited. They may also feel trapped in human trafficking schemes by their fear of the perpetrators, distrust of law enforcement, or a perception that they have consented to their involvement. These issues make it difficult to collect accurate statistics on just how many places and people are affected, even for agencies whose sole purpose is to study human trafficking.

Read more
Posted: Apr 11, 2018
Categories: Blog Posts
Comments: 0

Thanks to the overwhelming publicity surrounding both the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood and the Larry Nassar criminal case involving Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, most Americans have been engaged in a much more open dialogue regarding the topic of appropriate sexual boundaries in recent months. Given the number of victims and the decades of abuse represented by these two cases alone, it would appear that these conversations have been badly needed for a very long time.

One potential problem with recognizing or preventing similar incidents of sexual abuse and harassment, however, is that many times the perpetrators’ behavior doesn’t appear as extreme or obviously inappropriate as the cases that make the news. Consequently, victims of inappropriate sexual advances don’t always feel justified in calling out the behavior or reporting an incident if it was “just uncomfortable”.

Actor David Schwimmer and writer/director Sigal Avin have created a video series designed to highlight this particular issue and educate others as to where the line defining sexual harassment actually lies. In doing so, they created a resource that allows people in various settings to identify sexual harassment before it escalates to a pattern of abuse. Cosmopolitan.com has helped to publicize the series, called #ThatsHarassment.

Read more
Posted: Dec 20, 2017
Categories: Blog Posts
Comments: 0

Social media icons on iPhoneSocial media use among teens has become almost universal, and nowhere is this more evident than in the proliferation of photographs and social media posts shared by older kids and teens. Because the rise of social networking has been so rapid and recent, however, the possible pitfalls of social media use are often poorly defined and overlooked. According to a 2012 survey by Pew Research Center, 91% of teens report posting a photo of themselves on social media profiles, but only 9% of older teens report being “very concerned” about third-party access to the information on their social media accounts. This amounts to a great deal of identifying information that potentially opens them up to interaction with or exploitation by strangers.

Enabling parental controls and monitoring internet usage are very effective ways to lessen the risks, but there are even more basic measures parents can take in the meantime to help ensure that their kids aren’t compromising safety through the information they share on social media.

Read more
RSS
12345678

OffenderWatch® Initiative

P.O. Box 5466
Covington, LA 70434
985-778-3072
info@offenderwatchinitiative.org
        
Website designed by 5 Stones Media ยท Copyright 2018 by OffenderWatch Initiative
Login