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The National Sex Offender Registry:  Important Laws & Facts

In 1994, Congress passed the Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act.  This Act requires states to create a registry in which all convicted sex offenders and criminals against children must register their current status with their state of residence.  Convicted Sex Offenders are required to register their addresses, places of employment and other pertinent information with the state so that the public can find registered sex offenders quickly and easily.

There are over 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States alone, although statistics show that over 88% of sexual abuse is never reported.  In 1996, the Wetterling Program was amended by Meghan’s Law giving states broad discretion in determining who would be notified about neighborhood sex offenders.  To further assist the public in keeping apprised of known sex offenders and their whereabouts, the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act was passed in 1996.  The FBI has been able to monitor and track certain convicted sex offenders since that time.

Sex Offender Statistics:

·         Over 30% of girls and over 10% of boys will be molested before their 18th birthday

            US Department of Justice

·         70% of female rape or sexual assault victims stated that they knew their offender

            US Bureau of Justice Statistics

·         Every 2.5 minutes there is a sexual crime committed in the United States & most victims of these crimes are under the age of 18. 

            US Department of Justice