BROOKFIELD, CT — Before the start of the school year is a good time to take an inventory of who is living in your neighborhood. Brookfield has six registered sex offenders living in the town, according to the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry.
The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection maintains the registry and updates information regularly, but information can change quickly. Information is often provided by offenders themselves as required by law. This is a useful tool to help you be aware of who’s living in your neighborhood.
Law enforcement officials and researchers caution that the registries play a limited role in preventing child sexual abuse and stress that most perpetrators are known to the child.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees the National Sex Offender Public Website, estimates that only about 10 percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers to the child.
The Justice Department estimates 60 percent of perpetrators are known to the child but are not family members but rather family friends, babysitters, child care providers and others, and 30 percent of child victims are abused by family members. Nearly a quarter of the abusers are under the age of 18, the department estimates.
The Association for the Treatment of Sex Abusers, a nonprofit organization for clinicians, researchers, educators, law enforcement and court officials involved in sexual abuse cases, cautions that children do not face a heightened risk during the Halloween season: “There is no change in the rate of sexual crimes by non-family members during Halloween. That was true both before and after communities enacted laws to restrict the activities of registrants during Halloween. The crimes that do increase around Halloween are vandalism and property destruction, as well as theft, assault, and burglary.”