I would like to encourage people to reserve their panic regarding the release of ex-Mayor, Gary Becker. It is often a scary thought not knowing who our neighbors REALLY are or whether or not they could possibly be a threat to society – or worse, our very own children.
Three years ago Mayor Gary Becker was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child and child enticement. He was paroled yesterday.
In 2009, Becker thought he was going to Brookfield Square Mall to meet a 14-year-old girl. A state agent working with an internet sex sting met him there instead. He also admitted to having affairs and hiring prostitutes many years ago – issues I really don’t care much about when it comes to strangers. That’s really none of my business. But kids? Hell no.
It was clear he had either some deep seeded mental issues or just a grandiose sense of indestructibility. After being arrested, he was witnessed in the mall purchasing lingerie. For what/whom, I have no clue. But you’d think you would be a wee bit down low while under investigation.
Apparently he received “treatment” in prison…whatever that means.
Today, Becker’s address was released and I am beginning to hear the outrage and panic from friends as well as strangers. And I get it. I really do. Nobody wants to think about a sex offender living in their neighborhood. And I also completely understand why they release the location of the offenders.
However, I want to remind people that there are offenders everywhere. Most of them, we receive no notice, no photo, no warning. And that is because most of them are never caught. These offenders work in our churches, our schools, our day-cares, our parks…and they also live in our homes or in the homes of people we know. These are the perpetrators to be worried about – much more so than the ones we can easily point out.
Our behaviors or worries should not change upon learning of a sex offender living near by. First of all, worry does little good. Second, chances are they already HAVE been living near you. And third, we should always ALWAYS be aware and teach our children of possible dangers anywhere.
We need to make it stick into these kids’ heads that they can come to us with ANYthing regardless of what they may be told. They need to be able to trust us and know that we will protect them against any manipulative threat. We need to teach our children modesty and the importance of personal space and privacy. We need to try to instill in them self worth and security so that they are less likely to fall prey to “admirers”. And we need to discourage the sexualization of our young girls.
We will never have complete control. We can never prevent every bad thing that may happen. But we can take reasonable steps to do our best to avoid as much bad as possible. Because there will always be bad guys (and yes, bad women too), they do get out of prison and they do need to live somewhere.
So let’s all take a breath and be rational. Freaking out will help nothing. Gary Becker is much less of a threat than the other 5 guys down the street whom have yet to be caught. We know who he is and where he lives. He is in the public eye. And most sexual abuse happens either in the home of the perpetrator or the victim (or both). Uncles, friends, cousins, clergy, babysitters, fathers….90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator. NINETY percent. And there are 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States each year. So there are a whole helluva lot of shitty people out there, folks. Let’s not use tunnel vision and focus on one guy.