While sitting back in our Florida room the other day reading a Scarlet Letter echo post by Kat, “Is Life After Prison Worse Than Prison Itself?”, a sudden loud knocking at the door startled our dog as she began to bark while running toward the door. Just by the rhythm and volume of the knock.. I knew. Even though all I could see from the distance, out of the upper half moon door window, was that large hand knocking.. I knew who it was. The county deputy was here to verify my residence and the vehicles in our driveway. It was the officer that shows up the majority of the time for address verification. A very tall stocky officer, yet soft spoken, makes it a quick verification and off he go’s. He is always polite, quiet and fast..unlike others that have appeared. Though my time has been completed, service rendered, the punishment continues.
I find it punishment when a law enforcement officer appears at our house to verify that I sill reside at this residence and that the vehicles in our driveway compare with the ones listed with the departments records. I find it punishment when, if we’re not home at the time, the officer leaves a large yellow note (which stands out) on our door listed as “SEX OFFENDER UNIT” with my name and notice to contact them within 48 hours of the time posted. I feel its punishment when I get odd looks and/or questions from neighbors regarding the officers presence at our house, or from guest that are here at the time of his visit. I feel its punishment that, on the day after an officer visits, I find a window of my car smashed in. And that’s just the tip of the Iceberg.
We know the sex offender registry is punishment, an abuse of our rights. Yet the courts and politicians say it’s not. To the courts, politicians and all others that feel the registry is not punishment I would like to say this: Years ago, long before the registry, I was sexually abused as a child by someone close to the family. And the sexual abuse that I was subjected to, for two years, was nothing compared to the punishment, the pain, the heartache that the sex offender registry has brought onto me, my spouse and our families. And if I was given the option of either remaining on the sex offender registry, or undergoing two more years of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child..I would choose the latter.
That is how punishing and abusive the sex offender registry is.