Tuesday, November 23, 2021

CATERING TO CRIMINALS: Colorado Votes to Drop the Term 'Sex Offenders' to Protect the Feelings of Sex Offenders

Source: Insider

Published: November 22, 2021

By: Canela López

Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board voted to replace the term sex offender with "adults who commit sexual offenses."

The board argued the term sex offenders ostracizes people and is offensive. 

Advocates and survivors of sexual assault worry the new terminology will make it easier for assailants to evade accountability. 

Sex offenders in Colorado are getting a new label after the state's Sex Offender Management Board voted to change the terminology referring to them. 

CBS Denver reported board voted 10-6 to change the term sex offender to "adults who commit sexual offenses" during a meeting on November 19. The vote will not change how sex offenders are referred to in the state's criminal justice system or in written law. 

The board – which manages and tracks adult sex offenders across the state – heard arguments from sex offenders, survivors of sexual assault, and advocates on whether or not the phrase should be changed during the spring of 2021.

Proponents of the change argue the term sex offender is offensive to people who have committed sex crimes, places stigma on a large population, and generalizes the crimes committed by sex offenders. 

"Referring to me by a label for something I did half my life ago is inappropriate and downright offensive," Derek Logue, an advocate against the term and member of the sex offenders registry, said during the meeting. 

Advocates for survivors of sexual assault took issue with the language change. 

"I'm concerned that the use of person-first language generally is an intent to remove accountability from offenders and to diminish the experience of the victims," Jessica Dotter, sexual assault resource prosecutor for the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, said during the meeting.  

"'Adults who commit sexual offenses' fails to convey or represent any sort of victim-centeredness." 

Read more at: Insider.com
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