Researching sex offenders in your community, especially if you’re moving to a new home, or getting ready for Halloween when your child will be knocking on dozens of doors in the neighborhood, are two examples of when carrying out such an unsettling task is essential.
By the age of 18, one out of every ten children has either experienced, is experiencing, or will experience abuse. As of December 2018, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children projected that 917,771 sex offenders were registered in the United States.
Given such disturbing statistics, you should be aware of this information while planning your children’s route to their bus stop or school, during the trick-or-treating season, or while relocating to a new location, having this kind of information at your fingertips, regardless of the reason, can be a powerful method to protect your children.
Here are five expert-recommended methods for locating sex offenders in your area.
Tips For Locating Sex Offenders In Your Area
1. Go To The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
The first step in locating sex offenders in your community is to go to nsopw.gov, coordinated by the Department of Justice.
The NSOPW is an online resource that provides public access to statewide sex offender data. The website is easy to use and has a bunch of search filters that make it easy to find your location on the database.
2. Use The Free Family Watch Dog Program
Parents can put their zip code onto Familywatchdog.us to see a map of sex offenders in their area. They also provide free notifications to keep you informed about offenders who enter or exit your region.
3. Make An Effort To Be More Local
Each state has its own registry
In California, for example, there’s the Megan’s Law website, which is named after a federal law and has become an informal moniker for succeeding state legislation mandating law enforcement to make information about registered sex offenders publically available.
Additionally, on the FBI’s website, you can find a list of individual state registers, or contact your county’s sheriff’s office or police department.
4. Perform A Reverse Search
Finding sex offenders who haven’t registered is obviously more difficult.
If you’re suspecting someone, you can perform a public search, as long as you know their name, gender, age, and race.
To do a public search, head over to websites like BeenVerified.com, which is a prominent provider of online background checks and contact information.
5. Look Through The Newspapers In Your Area.
Websites like Patch.com consistently produce safe trick-or-treating maps for numerous communities across the US around HalloweenThese maps take into account the locations of sex offenders. You could also seek the assistance of a team of sex crime lawyers who can provide you with such information.
Scarily enough, online registries can provide parents with a false sense of security. Many offenders have simply never been found, prosecuted, or convicted, therefore vigilance and intelligence are essential, which is why it’s important to have your wits about you, join together with other parents and families, and put essential safety at the top of everyone’s priority list.