An advocate for child sexual abuse victims and the local police chief each spoke Wednesday against a proposal that would add to Missouri’s state-imposed restrictions and further limit where convicted sex offenders may live, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Increasing distances around places such as child-care centers and schools only gives parents a false sense that their children are safe from perpetrators, said Maggie Menefee, executive director for The Child Center in Wentzville, Mo.
In reality, statistics show children are more likely to suffer sexual abuse from someone they know, live with or love – not from a stranger, said Menefee, whose agency specializes in interviewing child sexual abuse victims. During the last seven years, about 93 percent of child victims interviewed from 11 nearby counties knew their abusers, she said. “If this was a good, productive law, I’d be standing up here saying, ‘Man, we need this law. Give it to us,'” Wentzville Police Chief Robert Noonan told aldermen. “But it’s a law just to make people feel better.”