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Jan-30-2014 02:37printcomments

WAR Comes to DC

Women Against Registry is the voice of the millions of innocent women and children being wrongly and unfairly punished because they have a family member who has been convicted of a sexual offense.

Women Against Registry

(WASHINGTON, DC) - The leaders of WAR and its members staged a protest rally today on the steps of the DC Superior Court in support of Dennis Sobin, a registered sex offender in DC who posted online pictures of the government employees who do the same to him.

In a total victory for WAR, Dennis Sobin, and free speech, Judge Todd E. Edelman ruled that distributing and posting online pictures of court employees by registered sex offenders forced to interact with them is a form of political speech protected under the Constitution.

“The judge’s opinion will be used as ammunition around the country,” said Sobin. “I’m very happy the judge understood and abided by the U.S. Constitution that gives citizens the right to protest a policy that is abusive and un-American,” he said.

“There is no evidence that these public registries do anything to protect children,” said Vicki Henry, president of WAR. “Yet millions of innocent family members of registrants must suffer the real consequences of punitive and humiliating registration requirements.”

The suit was brought by Stephanie Gray, an employee of CSOSA (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency), the independent federal agency that maintains the sex offender registry in the District, who is one of the people featured on Mr. Sobin’s website (www.idiotsregistry.info).

“I feel as sorry for Stephanie Gray as I do for anyone who suffers unfair and degrading information plastered about them all over the Internet,” said Henry. “This case exposes the lie that public registration is somehow not punishment, but is only a small illustration of how devastating these consequences can be for returning citizens.”

“At least Ms. Gray can still get a job,” Henry said.

Women Against Registry is the voice of the millions of innocent women and children being wrongly and unfairly punished because they have a family member who has been convicted of a sexual offense.

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Lina Carl February 6, 2014 4:13 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you WAR and Mr Sobin for bravely speaking the truth about the public registry. The registry does not make our children any safer and gives a false sense of safety to the general public. Over 90% of childhood sexual offenses are perpetrated by a family member or a close friend of the family, not some stranger on a hate list. Yet, the family members of these registrants and the registrants themselves suffer greatly at the hands of an ignorant society who wants to be pacified by this hate list. Every day more citizens are added to the registry, and many for silly offenses. It is very easy to get on the SO registry!! Just wait until it happens to you or your family member, and then prepare yourself to be added to the most hated group of people in this country, registered citizens and those who choose to forgive them and support them. You will be demonized, rejected, refused work and housing, possibly beaten or maybe even murdered (this is happening). It is time to reform sex offender laws and implement programs that truly help prevent childhood sexual abuse.


Sharon February 3, 2014 11:37 am (Pacific time)

I am very grateful to Mr. Sobin and all the concerned people with WAR for speaking out of behalf of the victims of the registry. The studies and numbers are there for legislators, the media, for anyone who cares enough to look for the truth. The registry clearly does not work. But the harm it causes registrants and their families is incalculable. Nothing this cruel and unjust can last, but while it does people suffer, people die.


Phyllis February 1, 2014 8:41 pm (Pacific time)

I feel so thankful for Vicky and Kim and the others who are working tirelessly to change things. It is a grass root effort to give people their human rights back. We had to go this route for civil rights and we had to go this route for the handicapped but you know it all worked out for the best. The registry is just as devastating as being a black person prior to the Civil Rights Act which was enacted 1968. Another grass root movement was the pursuit of the American Disability Act (ADA)which was enacted in 1990. These laws would not have taken place without people like Vicky, Kim, Mr. Sobin, Judge Edelman and finally, the representative from the ACLU. I can't tell how full my heart is for all of these people taking up this cause. I just hope that this continues until the registry is abolished.


Patricia W. February 1, 2014 6:33 pm (Pacific time)

Too few people STILL do not know the truth about the sex offender laws...too few still don't get how many myths there have been to sell Americans stories about sex offenders that just as not so.
The public registry is contradictory to what we are supposed to stand for. Lumping a very small number of Possibly dangerous people in with a majority who are not dangerous and labelling them the same way creates a system where people are not given a real chance to better themselves and show they are able to be good citizens. These laws and the registry were created in hysteria and need to be reconsidered with reason and clarity. If you care about justice, educate yourself:
http://sosen.org/2014/01/20/who-really-commits-new-sex-crimes.html


Anonymous February 1, 2014 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

The sex offender laws have got to be the absolute worst, most unjust laws in the U.S. Unscrupulous politicians, an out of control drama-driven media, esp. FOX and prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves and put more notches in their belts to do that have fed the hysteria of these laws. If you care about justice, educate yourself: http://ilvoices.com/uploads/2/8/6/6/2866695/fact_sheet_-_general.pdf http://csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.pdf


gail Colletta February 1, 2014 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

Many Thanks to WAR for getting out there. It is a devastating experience for anyone to have their information on the internet in perpetuity. Your efforts to raise awareness are brilliant. Keep up the great work. It is about time we begin a national conversation of the injustices being perpetrated in the name of public safety in this country, although the mounting research clearly does not support that any of this is effective. We all know how hurtful it is to everyone. It is just a matter of time before everyone knows someone on the registry. It could happen to anyone!
Thanks again.. Thanks to Mr. Sobin for having the courage to fight back!


Georgina Schaff February 1, 2014 1:44 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you WAR for raising awareness and educating the public what a challenge and disgrace it is for ALL families on the registry. It is so easy to end up on the registry and most are not a threat to their community. Abolish the public registry! Mr. Sobin proves how easy it is to get on a public registry, thank you Mr. Sobin.


Jill February 1, 2014 1:35 pm (Pacific time)

All families members of those accused of a sexual offense have suffered for too long. Our voices have been kept quiet due to fear. Fear of abuse, fear for our children and loved ones. One day we will come together and successfully fight this horrible stigma that cripples our entire family. The politicians and media wants the public to fear those listed, but this isn't about our society's safety, especially our children's. This is about making money for those who gain from this devastating issue. We lost the war on drugs, and what better why to fill up our prisons, our courts with public support by saying "it's all about the children" If it's all about the children, then why are we punishing children? Why are we causing their families into homelessness and poverty? Why are children losing their father's to murder? If someone does violate a child, then lock them up and throw away the key, but if they are deemed safe to return to their families, then let them live and contribute towards our society! Enough is enough


MRoberts February 1, 2014 1:19 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. Sobin is my Hero! Thank you for your courage and your unwillingness to take this madness lying down! If people knew how easy it was to get on that registry it would terrify them! And it SHOULD terrify them! This country has over 700,000 people on the registry. Do you honestly believe that they are all rapists and child molesters??! That is what I used to think until my son received emails he never asked for (an undisputed fact in his case)! Yes it could happen to you. People receive images of child pornography via viruses and file-share programs that they use to share music and movies. The next time you have a virus on your computer, I would think twice before taking it in for repair. You could wind up on the registry next...that is, after you serve a prison term and your life is irreparably destroyed!!


Selizabeth79 February 1, 2014 12:49 pm (Pacific time)

Until you've been the victim (yes, I used that word) of the registry industry, you can't begin to know how devastating and fare reaching the consequences are. Essentially, being on the registry gives anyone and everyone governmental approval to hate, shun and harrass not only registrants, but their families as well. It makes it next to impossible to find even a lousy job or place to live. It's a vile thing to do to anyone. You might as well paint a bull's eye on the back of every registrant in this country and be done with it.
And if all that suffering did any good at all, if it really did protect children, it might be justifiable...but it doesn't protect children at all. In some ways it makes them less safe, because it promotes a false sense of safety in the minds of many who don't realize or care to know that the overwhelming majority of new sex offenses are committed by someone NOT registered who is known to the person being abused, and because it makes it that much harder for EX-offenders who have received treatment (yes,these people can be rehabilitated)to become stable, productive members of their communities. Add to that the fact that so many registrants are on that hate list for non-contact or just plain silly "offenses", and the whole thing is just a total travesty. The fearmongers have had 25 years to convince the general public that there's a child molester behind every bush and that hating, shaming and expanding the list is somehow a good thing, but they have zero empirical evidence to back that up. You'e being played, people, by elected officials who see sponsoring more and more ridiculous SO laws and restrictions as a quick and easy way to win your vote. Public satisfaction with and trust inwith elected officials and the media is abysmaly low: You know they lie to you every chance they get and you have the inherent common sense to be skeptical of their promises. Why, then, do you so readily believe the hype they feed you about offenders and registries? Thousands of families are being needlessly hurt and broken in the name of protecting children and every one of us has the obligation to decide based on truth and fact, not fear, whether we want that on our collective conscience.


Alice February 1, 2014 11:58 am (Pacific time)

thank you members of W.A.R for defending family members who do nothing wrong but support their loved ones. these loved ones have already paid their debt to society when they dots their time. I am one victim who was molested by a much older boy when I was ten years old. I have forgiven that boy and moved on from his mistake. I do not have any need to have him or his family members suffer this degrading pain of the humiliation of a public registry. it would not change what happened to me nor would it protect anyone else. it its the parents job to protect and teach children of the dangers of this society.


Jane February 1, 2014 11:48 am (Pacific time)

I saw the video on You Tube....Mr Sobin is brilliant in his reasoning and truthfulness. Bravo, Mr Sobin, for thinking out of the box and addressing the issues that ex-sex-offenders and their families face. It's about time intelligence was brought into the mix on this subject, rather than the narrow-minded thinking of those who refuse to think out of the box and realize that these registries serve no purpose other than to harass former offenders and their families. I don't want to hear that every single person on those registries are predators, rapists, drooling pedophiles waiting to get another victim, etc. That is preposterous and any intelligent, thinking person recognizes that. Stop feeding into the politicians hands by giving them your VOTES because they feed into your hysteria-type thinking. Try looking online at your zip code and see HOW MANY released sex offenders are in YOUR neighborhood and if ANY of them, I dare say, have re-offended. Think!!!!!!! Ugh!!!!!!


S. Madison February 1, 2014 11:38 am (Pacific time)

Hooray for a common sensed based article on the Public Registry and to Women Against Registry! It is about time the public hears the other side to the punitive damage of the so-called public safety device that disables the basic liberties of those on it. I am more scared for my child of those who attempt to play God by judging others based on a man made list than those who have already completed their sentence!


Jane February 1, 2014 11:38 am (Pacific time)

Bravo, Mr. Sobin!!!! Thankfully, he is an intelligent and thinking person who thinks out of the box and didn't go along generically or any other way in regard to the Registry. It is a sham and unconscionable that any State can continue to villify EX-sex-offenders who have paid their debt to society by serving their sentences and then trying to re-integrate into society. The Registry only debilitates, debases and puts all sex offenders and perceived sex offenders into a category of "drooling pedophiles waiting to pounce on a perceived or potential next victim." STOP already the madness of this kind of thinking. NOT every ex-sex-offender fits that stupid mold; they have the LOWEST recidivism rate and should not be thrown in with predators, repeat offenders, murderers and the like. Ugh! I am so sick of people who vote the politicians in who run with this mentality because they THINK in their warped heads that the registries will protect children....and, frankly, they just want your vote, you morons. Start thinking out of the box any of you who promote and endorse these registries. They are so very HARMFUL to the ex-offender and their FAMILIES....me, a family member of an ex-offender! Start getting educated and THINK OUT OF THE BOX, already. Sheesh !!!!!!!


Marysue February 1, 2014 11:22 am (Pacific time)

Unfortunately, the general public has little understanding of the unintended consequences of the public registry until someone they love is place on the list. There is no public safety benefit to lifetime naming and shaming. Hats off to Women against the registry!


ShellyStow February 1, 2014 11:16 am (Pacific time)

I oppose public registries because they work against rehabilitation and public safety. I nevertheless applaud Mr. Sobin's action in this instance because of the publicity it has brought to the issue. For twenty years now the voices of advocates, of experts, and of governmental and university studies have been drowned out by the voice of the politician using this issue for political advantage, by the ring of the cash registrar for those who benefit financially, and there are many, and, in many cases, by the voice of the media seeking the most sensational approach to an issue. I have in recent times seen a shift in the later, and Mr. Sobin's unique approach is aiding in that. For that I thank him. And I thank Women Against Registry for helping to bring this important issue before the public also.


rwsmom February 1, 2014 11:06 am (Pacific time)

I think it's great that there is a support group for families facing the devastating registry laws. We must remember that behind everyone on the registry, there are families with children who are being placed on the registry as well. Their names and addresses are listed to anyone who wants to harm their loved one. It needs to stop!

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