Opinion – Stiffer Penalties for Child Molesters Needed


through the looking glass

By Marianne Curtis

The appropriate punishment for offenders convicted of child molestation is an issue that unfortunately touches lives around the world. Each country handles punishment of offenders differently, but in Canada, the common sentence is jail time, counseling and community service. With the increased use of the internet, focus is once again being drawn to the question of the appropriateness of punishment for convicted sex offenders. A person who has been convicted of numerous charges of child molestation should be sentenced to more stringent penalties.

People that use their power to take advantage of children are monsters that should not be given a chance to offend again. Child molesters take a child’s innocence, leaving them shattered and broken, while the offender pleads for the mercy of the courts. Human rights groups will argue that the offender has rights too.  But where were the child’s rights when they were begging for mercy?

While it takes years of rehabilitation for the child, and their families, convicted offenders are given the option to take classes in jail that are supposed to help them not offend again. However, convicts have the option to not take the classes, and still get released when their sentence is up. It should be a concrete condition of their sentence, that they will be released at the end of their sentence only if a favorable report on their classes has been submitted.

By imposing stiffer penalties, families would also not feel re-victimized by the justice system, as many of them do now. By imposing stiffer penalties on child molesters, justice would be brought to those that are guilty, while protecting other children from suffering the same fate. People also become empowered when they actively participate in convicting their attacker and it helps them recover.

While the matter of stiffer penalties for convicted child molesters will lead to a lot of debate on a variety of levels, ultimately society and our children need the protection of the courts. It is our responsibility as a society to protect each other from the evils of the world, and at the top of that list should be protecting our children from those that would do them harm.

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