How do you know if there are sex offenders living next door? Every day there are stories of sex offenders in the news, but few people realize that convicted sex offenders may actually live in their neighborhood. You may assume that you’d need to be notified if this was the case, but in actuality, you may never find out that there’s a sex offender living next door to your young children. Some say that today’s parents are too overprotective, and while some may be, there are still some things every parents should know in order to protect their children. It’s always a good idea to know of any criminals living nearby, even if your children know not to talk to strangers.
How well do you really know your neighbors? How many times have watched a news story where you heard their neighbor say “He seemed like such a nice, quiet guy. I can’t believe he would do something like this”. Sound familiar? The only way to know for sure about sex offenders is to check the national sex offender list. Find the sex offenders in your neighborhood now, before it is too late.
A sex offender is someone who has been criminally charged with, and convicted of, a crime of a sexual nature against a victim. Crimes for which registration as a sex offender is required range from sexual assault to possession of child pornography. There are over 500,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, with over half of the victims being under 12 years old. You should be concerned for your family’s safety when you consider these shocking statistics.
Fortunately, there is a way to know if you are living near a registered sex offender. In order to find sex offenders, start with the government’s free search. Sex offenders are required by law to register their address with the government. Each of the 50 states has an online registry website that is free to search. It will pinpoint sex offenders on a map of your area. You may find that there are sex offenders living right on your street, perhaps less than a block from your home. These search results show the offender’s address, crime, and usually a photo.
In addition to searching for sex offenders living near you, you can also use the government’s free search to look up the names of new neighbors, potential babysitters, or anyone else whose full name you know. The truth is that you never know if someone you’ve met is a sex offender unless you look for their name in the national search. Although you probably don’t want to think about the possibility of sex offenders interacting with you and your family, the possibility is there.
Whether you find sex offenders living in your neighborhood or not, it is crucial to remind your family members that anyone they meet could potentially be dangerous. Although it’s now easier than ever to find sex offenders if you know where to look, the absence of registered sex offenders does not mean that everyone in your neighborhood is harmless. The sex offender registry is just one tool in your arsenal, helping to keep you and your family safe from harm.