Parents, communities, and nations have a God-given responsibility to protect children and youth from predators of all kinds. Yet, the task grows more difficult with each passing day with reports of sexual exploitation and human trafficking all around us. Parents of young families are forced to walk a narrow line between allowing the rising generation to learn and grow as they become independent, while at the same time keeping them safe. This narrow line becomes narrower as time passes.
One of my daughters sent information today about two possible acts of kidnapping that took place a short distance from her home. One of them took place at a Sonic where some young teens in a car became nervous when they discovered a man watching them closely and even following them when they went to the other side. They were smart and left the vicinity. The other one took place in front of Wal-Mart when a child was grabbed away from a parent but saved by nearby witnesses.
It is a sad day when teens cannot buy fast food with friends without facing danger from possible predators, and it is an even sadder day when a mother cannot take a child with her to a store. There are too many reports of children, youth, and young adults disappearing. We live in a wicked world where the evil steadily increases, and where parents carry heavier and heavier loads as they strive to rear children.
State governments should be supporting parents in their parenting challenges, but some of them are going rogue. It seems that whatever happens in California soon spreads to the rest of the nation, so Americans should be concerned about legislation that recently passed in the California legislature. Senate Bill 145 was signed into law that decreases consequences for adults who engage in sexual acts with minors aged 14 to 17. The new law ensures that such offenders will not be placed on the sex offender registry automatically.
This law was passed to end “discrimination against LGBTQ people on the sex offender registry,” but it could subject children to sexual abuse or exploitation. It exempts anyone from mandatory registration if they are “convicted of certain offenses involving minors if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor and if that offense is the only one requiring the person to register.” This means that a 25-year-old male could rape a 16-year-old girl and be exempt from registering as a sex offender and free to rape again.
The new law in California is a travesty passed in the name of justice. All adults should be alert to such ideas in our communities and states and end them before they become law. We should stand strong around families as we protect the rising generation from all predators. By doing so, we can strengthen our families as well as our communities and nations.