Updated: Oct 28
Does a Sex Offender Live Next Door?
Talking about sex offenders and harm that comes to children is never an easy topic so know that I’m a little uncomfortable writing about this, as some of you may feel about reading about it.
If you were squeamish about listening to the episode I applaud you for listening now. This stuff isn’t dinnertime conversation. Nonetheless, this is an important conversation that we need to have.
As protector parents, we have to go where we are uncomfortable in order to grow and become the best protectors we can.
We cannot afford to be ignorant to the threats around us. After all, that’s one of the reasons I started The Secure Dad.
Just as you would want to know who in your neighborhood is a good citizen, we need to know who the shady people are as well. In all of my research into crimes against children, the thing that has surprised me the most is that predators look and talk like us. They don’t have scars on their faces with an eye patch.
It can be very hard to identify someone who would harm a child. So that’s why we need to put some work into finding out who really is living around us.
The best resource I want to share with you comes from the government. There is a great app called the NSOPW app. That stands for the National Sex Offender Public Website that exists by law. This is a national database for for sex offenders for the entire country.
I have personally had this app on my phone for years. It works and I trust that it is up to date. This app will need your location and it will give you an interactive map with pins that lead to information on the people who have been convicted of a sexual contact with a minor, but they are not in jail.
When getting ready for this show I did a search around my home and I found two people. One was new since my list check, one I was aware of. Neither of these people are in my neighborhood, but they might frequent my grocery store or gas station.
When you get a hit on your location, you can click each entry to see more about that person including a picture and what their charges are. Most offenders have to have their pictures taken a few times a year so a current record of their image is up to date. But that can be different with each state, much like the laws.
The final thought I want to leave you with here today is that this site lists only those people who have been caught and convicted of a crime against a minor. There are millions of files around the country that are closed because there’s just not enough information to warrant an arrest.
There are hundreds of thousands more individuals that have never had an accusation raised against them. Because their victims are too scared to come forward. And there could be someone in your orbit of life that might have ill intent for your child.
No website is going to tell you that, but I will.
So while these apps are great to have, the best line of defense is to be protective about who you let come in contact with your kids. Follow your gut feeling, know that you can tell someone “no” and teach your kids to listen to their instincts as well. Be a protector parent.