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SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTIVIST?
HOW TO PREPARE FOR COMBAT
By: Derek W. Logue
Written
6 August 2010, Updated 26 July 2018

Are you tired of waking up every morning afraid of the next legislation targeting you? Tired of harassment by neighbors,
police, and self-styled vigilante groups and websites? Many people are tired of the uncertainty in their lives and wish to
fight back, but they do not. There are many reasons why most people impacted by sex offender laws. Many of us fear
retaliation. Others simply feel like they are alone in wanting to fight, and many others sit and wait for someone else to
fight for them. Others do just enough for themselves and quit when their personal circumstances improve.
We are at
times our own worst enemies.

There are
900,000+ Registered Former Sex Offenders in the USA. Out of those 900,000+ registrants are a small but
growing number of dedicated activists fighting to reform current sex offender legislation. Over the years, we have
accomplished great things with the few that have chosen to stand up, but the more dedicated warriors, the greater the
chances we can overcome this adversity once and for all.

You are not alone in this "war on sex offenders."

If you wish to become more active in the fight against over broad, ineffective, and counterproductive laws, there are
many ways you can help. Below are just a few ways to fight back.

TIP #1: JOIN AN RSO ACTIVIST/ SUPPORT/ EDUCATION WEBSITE (ENLIST)

I cannot stress enough the importance of joining a website of supportive individuals who are also seeking reform of
current sex offender legislation. Even the most resilient activists struggle at times to deal with the personal impact of
these laws, and having a support network helps us to share our burdens, discuss strategies, and gain encouragement
to continue the fight. We need more than an "army of one" here!

ACTIVIST SITES: These are the main activist groups working on reforming sex offender laws:

  • National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws (NARSOL) narsol.org -- Runs a number of state-focus groups
    (the largest being Texas Voices and Florida Action Committee)
  • Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) all4consolaws.org -- California based group
  • Women Against Registry (WAR) womenagainstregistry.org -- Missouri-based group

SUPPORT SITES: These groups offer online support and education forums in addition to reform efforts:

  • Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network (SOSEN) sosen.org -- Front page news, activism materials, and a
    secure, private forum for you to speak candidly with other registrants and their loved ones.
  • Families of Sex Offenders (http://support-for-families.boards.net/) -- A forum that was once part of the Daily
    Strength website, focus is on support for families of registrants and less on activism.

TIP #2: GET EDUCATED (TAKE UP ARMS)

Perhaps the scariest part of activism is the prospect of being interviewed by the media without knowledge of a subject.
Every activist had to start somewhere, even me. My introduction into sex offender activism came through an old forum
and through the eAdvocate website. Thankfully, there is a wealth of research available on a variety of sex offender
issues, and activist sites including Once Fallen offer this education free of charge. There are also a number of
suggested readings on my
LINKS PAGE for more info.

If you just beginning to learn the ABC's of apologetics, then I highly recommend the
Once Fallen "Mythbusters" page to
familiarize yourself with the common myths
. Once Fallen also has a guide on media interviews. The other organizations I
mentioned also have tools available to help you train for future activism projects.


TIP #3: STAY INFORMED (KNOW YOUR ENEMY)

If you do not keep up with the latest news, then there is a good chance you will miss something important. Remember,
the Adam Walsh Act sat stagnant in Congress for about a year before it was steam-rolled through Congress like a
freight train.


The organizations mentioned in Tip #1 currently place major news articles on their front pages. (
Florida Action
Committee
also places news on the front page of their website. If you are not "on paper" and can access social media,
OnceFallen.com and the aforementioned groups have Twitter and Facebook pages that function as news feeds.


In addition, search engines have "News Search" functions to help you find the latest sex offender headlines. For
example, using Google, I can search any
sex offender news story within the past hour, which can be expanded to the
last day, last week, or last month.
If you see a local news article of interest, you can share it with is. Much of our news
comes from networking and sharing of info.


TIP #4: GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY (BASIC TRAINING)

There are many ways to get involved. Not all of us are bold and brave enough to tackle the front lines. Even seasoned
veterans like me get nervous on the front lines. While the Anti-Registry Movement does not offer a "basic training
course" (that should have been made years ago), there are still many ways to prepare for your role as an effective
activist.

The first thing you need to do is determine your role in this fight. What can you being to the table? There are numerous
roles needing to be filled, including, but not limited to:

  • Legal: Litigation and legal research, analysis of relevant court cases
  • Legislative: Opposing bad legislation, letter writing, speaking with legislators
  • Media: Letters to the editor, on-air commentary, social media, even commenting on news articles
  • Educators: Speaking venues, research reports
  • Street level Activism: Public awareness campaigns, protests, literature distribution
  • Supportive roles: Advisors, assisting activists and those in need of support, fundaisers

There are numerous small, everyday actions you can do to promote the cause. For example, you can print out SOSEN
brochures
and leave one at the registry office (or other random locations).

TIP #5: CONTACTING LEGISLATORS & THE MEDIA (THE FRONT LINES)

To kill a snake, you cut off the head and not the tail. Killing a law is far easier if it never gets passed in the first place.
Therefore, it is important we keep up with legislation that targets our very existence and fight back at the source.

Many politicians and media members do not stop to consider the impact of many of the laws they pass. Many blindly
pass it because it generates votes, others because they do not have the time or expertise in the field, and others do so
out of fear or apathy. It is easier to sign a law when they do not have to deal with opposition. Each of us have a story to
tell. Emotional stories are needed as much as the facts. Your legislator needs to know how you've lost your home/ job/
wife, etc.


I understand that speaking publicly is scary. I've been doing it for years and my voice still shakes at times. I understand
your fear but at the same time, many worst fears have never been realized. I've never been beat up or had my house
firebombed for telling an on-air personality that he or she is uneducated on the topic. Many media outlets are willing to
protect your anonymity. If you are willing to use your real name and face, I find that to be superior, as our adversaries
believe we hide our faces so we can reoffend. We need to put human faces on this movement, as it is easier to pass
bad legislation on nameless and faceless people.


This nation is starving for a better solution to dealing with sexual offending in the country. The laws are failing. We must
emphasize healing for both victim and offender, treatment to compliment punishment for the offenders, and the option of
reconciliation and atonement to those they offended, rehabilitation and successful reintegration upon release from
prison, and sensible education and prevention programs, such as the
Jacob Wetterling Resource Center & Stop It Now!

TIP #6: SUPPORT WAR EFFORTS! ("BUY WAR BONDS")

It seems the moment money is mentioned anywhere on a website, eyes glaze over and people get fidgety. After all, sex
offenders are very likely to be poor, unemployed/ on welfare, and/or taxed heavily by such obligations as registration
fees and fines. Even a small contribution (a few bucks or even a few stamps) to this site or one of the activist sites goes
a long way to helping spread the word. Many sites are funded by equally poor activists (I am on SSI/ Disability myself
and spend roughly 3/4 of my monthly income for unsubsidized rent and utilities).

There are many ways, however, to contribute to the war effort besides financially. Many of the actions I mentioned in the
"get your hands dirty" tip apply here as well. Word of mouth is a great advertiser. Activist sites have to compete with sex
offender registries, websites that advocate for stricter sex offender laws, vigilante websites, news articles, and various
personal blogs for attention. A person seeking support or legal advice is most likely to find a site like Family Watchdog
than one of the activist sites. Word of mouth is better than any advertising we could do.

VISIT MY CONTACT ME page to donate to this website. OnceFallen.com is engaged in numerous activism projects like
prison outreach and street level public awareness campaigns, so even small donations help. This same principle applies
to the other existing organizations Even small donations of a few dollars are welcome and desperately needed.


FINAL THOUGHTS

These are merely my own suggestions for fighting back. We currently have less than 1% actively fighting back. If we
even had the 1%, we'd have over seven thousand warriors in the fight. If we've done this much with a couple hundred
warriors, imagine what a couple of thousand can do!
CHECK OUT THE eAdvocate Community Blog FOR MORE RESOURCE INFORMATION