I am so glad to be able to share that the US Senate has passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act Reauthorization of 2016 by a vote of 89-0. This bill reauthorizes programs that help states meet national standards and locate offenders that are not properly registering or not updating their information as required by law. One piece of this bill that I find very important provides grants to states and localities to periodically verify the home addresses of registered sex offenders. It also provides, among other services, resources for the U.S. Marshals Service to locate and apprehend sex offenders who are non-compliant.
Today, I am thankful the Senate supports survivors and families that have been affected by the crimes of sex offenders. When the Senate voted 89-0 to reauthorize this act, they stood beside us.
For more information check out this link to the news article where I found a majority of the information to include in this post. Also, check out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s post on the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016.
I’ve been quiet the last few weeks. I did not even log into my blog site. I had so much motivation and excitement in creating my blog- picking out the design layout, background, font style and color, title, images, and url. I spent hours creating the law page and my first few posts. It seemed like a switch flipped and I did not even want to look at something I was so proud of.
Initially, I contributed it to busyness- traveling to New York, end of semester assignments and finals for four graduate classes, transitions at work, and preparing for summer. I finally realized the real reason I could not access my blog was fear. I became fearful of this blog. I feared people’s reactions. I was afraid I would say something wrong. I was fearful of the memories and pain writing may bring. And to be honest, I am still fearful. However, I am making a choice. I am choosing to break the rule that was imposed on me when I was just a child.
The rule was: “you better not tell anyone…or else.” Many of you have likely heard those words or very similar ones. They can absolutely paralyze you. Even though it’s been nearly 17 years since those words were sternly whispered to me, just typing them still sends a shiver up my spine. But today, my spine is stronger, my voice is louder, and with God as my source of strength, I am breaking the rule and overcoming fear.
By sharing this blog, I hope everyone will become well informed of the sex offender registry laws in their state. I hope that people who have experienced the horrors of childhood sexual abuse will feel empowered so that if their abuser is eligible to petition the registry they will know the steps to take to fight for their voice to be heard. I hope that legislation will be strengthened in ways that ensure the safety of children. I hope that we will have more conversations about the reality of childhood sexual abuse so that we do not contribute to “the rule” by making it a taboo subject to discuss.
Here’s to breaking the rule, facing fear, speaking loud, and clicking publish.