How to Find Registered Sex Offenders and Child Predators in Your Area
Click the above button to go to an FBI site that allows you to search your area for registered sex offenders and child predators, many including pictures, in the 36 states that make such information public.
SixWise.com highly advises you to forward this article to friends -- especially those with kids -- by using the so that they too can view the registered sex offenders in their area.
If a convicted sex offender moved in next door to you, surely you would want to know about it, particularly if you are a woman or have children. Yet it is not possible for communities to notify every single resident when this does occur.
You can, however, find out if there are registered sex offenders in your area. Currently, 36 states have Web sites that list registered sex offenders, including their names and addresses, and often their offenses and pictures as well. Most states allow you to search by city, zip code, name or address.
The sites are provided with the purpose of educating community members about a potential threat from convicted sex offenders and child predators in their area, rather than to warn of a specific person. While a person's inclusion on such a list does not indicate that he or she is dangerous (unless a high threat level, see below, is noted), it is a prudent choice for people-especially women and those with children-to be aware of the sexual offenders or child predators in their neighborhood.
Many of the state sites will also list a "risk level" next to a listed offender that indicates their threat level, along with their current status (some offenders may still be incarcerated, others have been released and others are being sought).
How to Teach Your Kids to Avoid Predators
According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the biggest myth surrounding child predators is that they are most often strangers. The truth is, the majority of the time the predator is someone the child already knows and may even trust. They offer the following tips for parents to talk with their children about this important issue:
Let your children know that they can talk to you about anything that happens in their lives. Fostering an open attitude about sometimes uncomfortable issues increases the chances that they'll come to you for help.
Tell your child to ask you or another trusted adult before going anywhere or accepting anything for another person.
Tell your child not to go out alone and always have a friend nearby when they play outdoors.
Let your child know that they should yell "NO" if someone touches them or talks to them in a way that makes them uncomfortable, scared or confused.
Your child should know that they can tell you about any scary or confusing situation, and they're not being a tattletale.
Talk with your children openly about safety issues, but do so in a non-threatening way so as not to overly frighten your child.
Practice what you talk about using daily "what-if" scenarios.
Include older children in safety discussions too-even teenagers are at risk.
Above all else, make it clear that it's more important to get out of a threatening situation than it is to be polite. Tell your child not to worry about hurting anyone's feelings, which is a common thought among young children, and to run away at the first sign of a threat.
For tips to keep your kids safe from predators on the Internet, don't miss Internet Safety for Kids: Seven Signs Your Child May be at Risk.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children