Social Question

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Parents- if you discovered that a convicted pedophile was living in your neighborhood, would you move?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23098points) March 29th, 2011

I just discovered that there are two registered pedophiles in our neighborhood. And I have two young daughters. This makes me incredibly nervous, and it’s a good thing my hubby and I were planning on moving this summer anyway.

I plan on searching Family Watchdog to check out potential neighborhoods while we’re househunting…

Would the close proximity of pedophiles make you want to move?

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48 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Nope. I’d make him move and have We live in an upscale ‘burb. Once the perp gets ratted out, they leave quickly.

If you are concerned, call your police station and see how this is handled in your community.

Once in a while those “watchdog” sites aren’t up to date, BTW. Mine showed two living by me, but both were long gone.

josie's avatar

No. But I would definitely go introduce myself and be quietly and politely intimidating.

crisw's avatar

I would investigate exactly what they did (presuming your registry gives out names), and use that to inform my decision.

Qingu's avatar

From what I understand those registries can be pretty unfair. Like if an 18 year old has sex with his 16 year old girlfriend, he gets put on the registry. There’s definitely a range of creepiness when it comes to people on that list, and since pedophiles are sort of the scarlet letter demons of our culture, you might want to not be so reactionary.

FYI, this guy I knew “came out” that he was a pedophile, though he never did anything (thank God) and did so in the process of seeking help. It was very awkward, and I never really liked him… but I felt terrible for him. They are people, too, and they can’t help how they feel.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@SpatzieLover Nope, they’re both there. One of our neighbors knows who they are, and she’s the one who suggested I look them up.

@crisw According to what our neighbors know (and our neighbors are very nosy and have dirt on pretty much everyone in the neighborhood), both offenders were convicted of child molestation. It wasn’t a “statutory rape” charge that was misunderstood or anything like that. The mother of my daughter’s best friend actually talked to the guy who lives next door to her, and she flat out asked him about it. He admitted to touching his stepson, and pretty much stays in his house when he’s not at work. Just that alone makes me sick enough to not care about verifying the charge against the other man. And we were planning to move anyway, this just makes me more happy to move.

12Oaks's avatar

No. That would be like letting the bad guys win, if you will. This did prompt me to check the local police site, and a sex offender does live two blocks away. No details on the conviction, but still I ain’t moving. My property is NOT for sale.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Qingu They can’t help how they feel? I’m sorry, but I can not be that kind to people who have molested children or even thought about doing it.

cockswain's avatar

I’d learn about the case, and if I felt they were a threat at all I would make them want to live somewhere else.

Qingu's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate, I think we should judge people on their actions, not their thoughts. I also think that pedophiles are basically cursed. Imagine going through life with sexual urges that you can never act on, that you cannot choose to stop feeling.

I’m not saying you have to hang out with pedophiles, and I’m certainly not excusing the guy’s actions—if you act on it, you deserve every bit of social ostracism you get. But I do think some empathy is in order, at least.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Qingu We’ll have to agree to disagree then. =0)

JilltheTooth's avatar

I researched this when Katawagrey and I moved here, and came to the conclusion that wherever I move to, the neighborhood would always be fluid, a sex offender could move in at any time. My conclusion was to be vigilant, educated and aware. There’s no guarantee that that the status of the neighborhood wouldn’t change at any time.

Qingu's avatar

Also: I think you are probably vastly overstating the danger posed by these people. My understanding is that pedophiles almost always abuse kids they know personally, not stranger kids off the street.

And I’m probably not the best empathy poster child since I haven’t spoken to the guy since he came out, and I wouldn’t want to. But I do feel sorry for him.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I would educate my children. I would show them the photos of the perps and would drive by the homes so they knew they must stay away.

I think, no matter where you are, education is the key.

@Qingu The peds here did molest “stranger” kids. They had kids. Their kids had friends over. The molestation occurred in daylight hours with adults present on the properties.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@JilltheTooth True, I’m just glad we were already planning to move. I’ve mapped our city, and there are quite a few excellent neighborhoods with no offenders nearby. I can only hope that doesn’t change until my girls are much older.

@SpatzieLover I already talked to my oldest about it and told her where they live. I also told her that when she’s playing at a friend’s house, she needs to be constantly aware of who and what is around her. It’s really sad that I have to warn my 10 year old about nasty people living in the neighborhood. It’s like taking away a small part of her innocence.

Qingu's avatar

@SpatzieLover, I’m trying to verify my claim now… and can’t find much. Seems they’re often opportunistic. But in your example, the kids aren’t strangers… certainly not strangers who were warned to stay away from him.

I would definitely agree that at minimum you should warn your kids to stay the hell away.

Edit: “Most sexual abuse offenders are not strangers, but persons that the abused child knows and trusts.” source but again, of course you should teach your kids stranger danger just in case.

rebbel's avatar

Not wanting to scare you, but your nice, polite, helpful neighbour from three houses down could also be a pedophile, one that never acted out his urges or one that never has been caught.
Likewise, an convicted pedophile that lives in your street could be ‘cured’ and never act again.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate A good way to keep it in their heads is to teach that at anyone elses home or at lessons, etc, they must never let anyone see or touch anywhere their swimming suit would cover.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@rebbel That is also true, and because of it, we rarely allow our daughter to stay at a friend’s house. Her friends are welcome here anytime, though.

@SpatzieLover Yes. I haven’t had to talk to my almost 5 yr old about it yet, as she never goes anywhere without my hubby and I, or her grandparents. She’ll be starting kindergarten in the fall though, and making lots of friends, so that will be changing. :( My 10 year old and I had to have “the sex talk” two years ago, and she already knows what pedophiles are, unfortunately.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate We had to have the talk early with our son. Yes, we did go with him to swimming and dancing lessons, but I didn’t want to chance it. Things like this happen quickly. :( It is not something I wanted to do.

Rarebear's avatar

Heck no. Couldn’t afford it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Qingu In this case, the man was a millionaire and has never been charged with anything that hits his record as “pedophilia”. He tends to lure the kids with a swimming pool or other “fun” kid items at his home/yard.

@WillWorkForChocolate It’s good you supervise your kids. I find a lot of parents leave their kids off with some parent or another with little concern for who else will be at the person’s home.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The registries can be out of date, for one, and no matter where you live you can bet you can go to the registry and find some sex offender of some kind within a few blocks. And, like @Qingu said, some of them can be pretty unfairly charged.

Blueroses's avatar

When you consider the victim guilt and fear, there are probably many more sexual offenders living in any given neighborhood than you’d think. The ones never reported or punished are, in my mind, more of a danger than the ones in the registry – at least you know who they are.

The best you can do is be vigilant.

Aethelwine's avatar

We had a convicted pedophile that lived on our street when my sons were younger. We knew he was because we had a policewoman that lived on our street and she warned us about him. This man would set a kiddie pool in his backyard and let any child from the street come and play in it. This man had no children or nieces and nephews. What was he doing with a kiddie pool for the locals kids! What’s worse is some children were allowed to play in the pool. These were children that did not have proper supervision.

You are the parent and you are responsible to supervise your young children. There are many dangers out there. Know where they are at all times. Be the house where all the kids play if that’s what you need to do. That’s what I did.

btw- I was very happy when this man moved.

DominicX's avatar

I’m not a parent, but I do wonder about whether or not “convicted pedophile/sex offender” refers to an actual child molester or rapist or an 18-year-old who had sex with a 17-year-old or some teenager who sexted his girlfriend. Because there is a significant difference…

math_nerd's avatar

@DominicX : I have never seen people labeled as pedophiles on warnings. Usually it is ‘sex offender’. And that is really vague. Pedophiles and a dude pissing behind a 7/11 will be required to register as one.

saintDrew's avatar

They’re everywhere, no running from them,

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m bettin’ @saintDrew has no kids!

saintDrew's avatar

Nope not yet. Hopefully I do get some in the future though.
Aren’t convicted pedophiles suppose to keep their distance from child-friendly
areas or something like that? Also, I bet there are many unlisted pedophiles
out there.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I wouldn’t move just because of that. At least if I know about them, I can be more cautious about it. I think you have to worry more about the neighbors you don’t really know anything about.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Seaofclouds : Uhhh…welcome to your new home???

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JilltheTooth I actually had already researched this before we moved here. There are 7 registered sex offenders in our town, none of them in our neighborhood. One of them is actually incarcerated at this time. Maryland has a pretty nice registry that tells you if the are compliant or not, what they were charged with, and a bunch of other information.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, good. I’m so damned invested in your little apples I didn’t want to have to worry about that, too!

ucme's avatar

Apparently one in ten of us live next door to a paedophile. Not me, my neighbour is this stunning seven year old. Disclaimer : The events depicted in that joke are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental…...sheesh, what you’ve got to do!

Harold's avatar

I wouldn’t move, but they would, I promise you that. No elaboration necessary…...............

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

To answer a couple of statements from comments above:

This register is not out of date; the two men I’m concerned about actually do still live here.

And one of them was definitely convicted of molesting a child. I haven’t verified the other one, and since we were planning to move anyway, I don’t really care to. I’ve been told he was, by a couple of neighbors who always know what’s going on with everyone in the neighborhood. They even knew another neighbor went to jail for shoplifting, even though she hadn’t told anyone. Our neighbors here have a way of finding out anything they want to know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate…. You must live in Texas.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

LOL, don’t you already know that about me?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course I do! I’ve done lost track of the Nina Bear though….

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Awwwwwwwww, that makes me so sad! <cry> You lost the bear? <uncontrollable sobbing>

Dutchess_III's avatar

SHIT!! I’ll find her!!! Don’t cry!!! Give me a day!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

ROFL! And that right there is one of the reasons I love your goofy ass! If you do seriously find her, send me a pic! I haven’t seen her in so long!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I will seriously find her! Last I heard she was in South Africa, and the plan was to send her to Oregon to Appleseed! I will find out what that evil JellyB (NaturallyMe) has really done (and anyone looking on thinks we’re making this up and we aren’t! That’s the…strangest part…)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Hehe, it would sound a little strange to anyone who doesn’t know the backstory.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just a leetle! LOL!

Mandifrlyne's avatar

I know there are many people that are wrongly on the sex offender registry. Unfortunately it can be scarey not knowing if you and your family are safe. I think the best thing you can do is educate your children. You can move but you never know who is going to buy the house down the street.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I would worry more about the one’s that haven’t been convicted or caught… I’m afraid there are far more of those and they are far more dangerous. The convicted criminals that are being treated are usually too frightened to repeat offend.

But that being said, this is the very reason why children do not play outside anymore and the very reason why in accordance, obesity is running rampant. I remember when everyone in the neighborhood KNEW who the creepy guy was and everyone stayed far away from him and we always stuck together and played outside in the sunshine barefoot and free!

*Those were the good old days! *Sigh..

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