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Anthony Harland, AMFT, MS, CADCI, works at Sharper Image to rehabilitate sex offenders.

Last week Anthony Harland, AMFT, MS, CADCI, with Sharper Future, spoke at the monthly meeting of Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment in Sacramento. His topic: Sex Offender Myths, Assessment and Treatment.

In his practice, Harland specializes in working with sex offenders and draws upon his experience to share what he has learned about the challenges and the hope of rehabilitation. He shared insights about sex offenders that challenge parents be more open minded about the things we think we know about sexual predators and how to protect our children. Below are seven truths about sex offenders:

  • Truth 1: Most sex offenses are committed by someone the parent and child trust (a family member, community member or friend)
  • Truth 2: Once a person is in the system for sex offense, they will not likely commit again.
  • Truth 3: Sex offenders can be rehabilitated and must be tailored to the individual perpetrator. There is hope for families who have loved ones convicted of this offense.
  • Truth 4: Sex offenders vary. Pedophiles and molesters will experience shame, while pimping and pandering offenders have no empathy for the souls of their victims.
  • Truth 5: While most sex offenders are male, females do also commit sex offenses.
  • Truth 6: The motive for these different types of sexual offenders is critical to discerning consequences and treatment.
  • Truth 7: The rate of reported sex offenses has decreased, and most sex offenses are under reported, so the chances are that active sex offenders in the community are not going to show up on a sex offender registry.

Strategic thinking about sex offenders and your child’s security

Because there is very little understanding about detecting and rehabilitating sexual predators in our society, it is important for parents to realize that checking the sex offender registry for your neighborhood is not effective prevention. In fact, doing this as your primary strategy could leave your child more vulnerable.

The most proactive thing a parent can do to protect their child from sex offenses is to educate them about their own sexuality and how to recognize a manipulation and assault on their sexuality when they encounter it online and/or in their community.

Join me for a very informative and encouraging training on how to prepare youth for internet porn and sexting at Sierra College September 5, 6:30 to 9pm,

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About:  We are a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. Our mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your donations are greatly appreciated. (Donations are payable to Banana Moments Foundation).

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Joanna Jullien, Founder & CEO of Core Connectivity
Photo by: Victoria Hatch

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and consultant on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. She is a former technology executive trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, a mother of two grown sons, and an author of books for practical guidance on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture. As a family and technology culture advisor, Joanna has appeared on 103.9FM The Fish, 710AM Keeping Faith in America, 1380AM The Answer, and Examiner.com.