“Shadowed by the past,” a story printed Oct. 21, 2007, commented only on the accused abusers’ side of the story.

How can people talk about how awful the Maine sex offender registry is for just the abusers? Does anyone think about the effects the registry has on the children who have to live with those abusers?

I happen to be one of those victims, and suffered my entire childhood because friends were not allowed to hang out with me outside of school. Other adults would verbally attack me, using my stepfather’s label. I can’t possibly describe the painful things that were said to me as a child. I constantly felt like “that girl.”

To this day, I still have perfect strangers walk up to me and ask me if it is true that my stepfather is a sex offender.

I don’t understand how it is that no one ever thought about protecting the victims from further abuse or trauma. The law thought about other innocent children or potential victims when they made it illegal for sex offenders to be in public places where children are most commonly present.

I had to ask myself, “What about the child who still lives with the abuser? How does the law protect that child from being retraumatized or further abused?

When do the victims start getting rights to be protected?

Cristie Caron, Poland

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