USA Today - July 27, 2005
After 20 years of advocating for those who are survivors of sexual violence, it's hard to believe there is finally a national registry of sex offenders (National online registry of sex offenders launched, News, July 21).
Now, I think it's time for federal laws on the books that would stimulate a uniform approach to sexual offenses. The reality is that too many states are considered to be "sex-offender friendly."
I also believe it's imperative that we have not only a national sex offender registry, but also an international one. We know that both alleged and convicted sex offenders move from one state to the next to avoid prosecution, but they also move from one country to another. We need to protect potential victims not only in the United States, but also in the world.
There also needs to be a federal law that abolishes the idea of statutes of limitations on civil and criminal charges when the crime is related to sexual violence. Canada, for example, has no such statutes on these sorts of crimes. We need to make our country safe for everyone.
Vicki Polin, executive director
The Awareness Center: Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault