Saskatchewan

Victim says sex offender ID justified

A victim of sexual abuse says the public has a right to know when a sexual offender is living in the community.

A victim of sexual abuse says the public has a right to know when a sexual offender is living in the community.

Linda Halliday-Sumner described the abuse she suffered as a child in a remote British Columbia community to an audience at a meeting arranged by Muskoday First Nation in Saskatoon Wednesday.

       
"...educate the public in how to become vigilant without becoming vigilantes."

She was molested by her father for a decade and became pregnant twice before turning 16 years of age. When she told her family about what had been happening ostracized her.

Halliday-Sumner uses her experiences to counsel other victims and lobby for more protection for the public from known offenders.

"We're not talking about someone destroying property, we're talking about destroying children's lives, destroying family's lives," she said. "Our laws are so geared to protecting the offender that we tend to forget victims of those crimes."

Halliday-Sumner says Saskatoon police did the right thing when they disclosed the photo and the name of a sexual offender living in the city last December.

She says the lack of resources being made available to police for monitoring released offenders, justifies the tactic.

"We need to push the government to have a national registry that's available to the public," says Halliday-Sumner, "but we need an education component that goes with that, to educate the public in how to become vigilant without becoming vigilantes."

Halliday-Sumner says offenders won't be unfairly harassed if the public is immediately made aware of their presence in the community.

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