Note: The following letter was submitted in response to an opinion piece by State Senator Katherine Clark that ran on this website on Dec. 12 regarding ways to better protect children from sex offenders:
Dear Senator Clark,
I was deeply disturbed by the statement "(SORB) should be allowed to consider a substantiated report of abuse – even if it does not result in a conviction" from your Opinion piece in the Wakefiled Patch. I am a mother of two children and though this man's actions deeply disturbed me and made me feel blessed for the care my children received in their younger years, I feel this in NO WAY warrants us going against our core democratic beliefs of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Even for those that have a prior conviction, sometimes they can fall prey to people with negative motives to accuse them of something they may not have had anything to do with (aka people jumping to conclusions, prejudiced against them for the mere fact of their past, etc). Having worked with Battered Womens shelters most of my adult life I can tell you there are many social and economic problems this country has because we do not have a solid process for convicted felons to serve their time and then be reintegrated properly into our society. Their inability to find employment, to rejoin society (at some point) as a normal person without any attached stereotypes leads to frustrations, intense feelings of depression and anger that are often acted out in violence against their partners, children and other family members.
Are there extra steps that need to be taken to ensure the safety of our chilren? absolutely. But we must do so with a level head and not pitch forks and torches. I would encourage you to step back from the initial human nature emotional response to such a heinous crime and think clearly and lead on this issue.
Kind regards, Sheila Simon-Aleman