Target: Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta
Goal: To create a central, national registry for military sex offenders.
An estimated 20,000 violent sexual offenses occurred within the military last year, yet there is no registry to account for offenders during or after they serve. Without tracking the movement of convicted sexual offenders; fellow service members, civilians, law enforcement, and others are left vulnerable. Please sign this petition and demand that the Department of Defense create a central, national registry for military sex offenders.
Military statistics report less than one-third of violent sexual offenses are officially reported, and fewer than 500 cases per year go to trial. According to the Service Women’s Action Network, less than half of those cases that do go to trial lead to convictions, and one-third of convicted offenders remain in the service. With so many convicted offenders and suspected offenders within the ranks, it is necessary to have a registry for the safety and peace of mind of other service members. Just as the U.S. Department of Justice requires civilians to register after a sexually deviant conviction, the same should be required of service members.
The lack of a registry often allows offenders to elude detection once they are discharged from the military. According to Forbes, soldiers are not required to disclose sex crime convictions on their discharge papers, thus allowing them to re-enter the civilian realm without evidence of conviction. Although official military policy mandates that sex offenders register with their state of residence, many states do not effectively enforce these mandates without record of conviction.
Please sign this petition and urge the Department of Defense to establish and create a central, national sex offender registry for military service members.
Dear Secretary Panetta,
It is no secret that the military has struggled to competently handle the growing number of sexual offenses taking place on duty. Despite efforts to make reporting procedures smoother and chance at trial higher, there is still no sexual offender registry for the military. Without a national military sex offender registry, fellow service members, law enforcement, civilians, and others are left exposed to criminal behavior.
According to the Service Women’s Action Network, a third of convicted offenders remain in service. Military statistics estimate less than one-third of sexually violent offenses are ever officially reported. These statistics leave thousands of sex offenders to continue their service undetected. Lack of reporting mandates at discharge also leave the door open for sexual offenders to re-enter society without exposing their conviction. Why require civilians to register with the Department of Justice if military personnel are not bound by the same requirements?
Please create a national military sex offender registry and allow service members, law enforcement, and civilians to protect themselves from sex offenders both in and out of duty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Morning Calm News via flickr