Section 1: Introduction
20 Minutes

Lecture TopicTOPIC: INTRODUCTION

Use SlideUse Slides #1–2: Understanding Sex Offenders: An Introductory Curriculum Section 1: Introduction
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Throughout the nation, few other crimes—if any—receive as much attention or are the focus of as much scrutiny as sex offenses. This concern and interest is understandable, as sex crimes have a profound impact on both victims and society at large.

There is no doubt that the effects of sexual assault are considerable. After a sexual assault, victims may experience a wide range of emotions, such as sadness, anger, fear, shame, guilt, grief, or self–blame; and they may go on to experience a variety of psychological, social, relationship, and physical difficulties,1 as well as financial consequences stemming from the assault.2 Certainly, these and other issues can interrupt and alter a person’s life tremendously. Not only are victims left to cope with the very personal and intense after–effects of a sexual assault, but they also must deal with the tangible costs associated with the assault, including medical care, counseling, and potential lost wages.

Sexual assault is also a costly crime for our communities, both from the perspective of the law enforcement, investigative, and court processing costs and in terms of the fear, sadness, or anger that often arises when a sexual assault occurs in a particular neighborhood or community. In fact, in the last few years we have seen an increasing concern from the general public and other stakeholders about sex crimes. It is hard to pick up a newspaper or turn on the local or national news without seeing or hearing a story about sex offenders, isn’t it?

As a result of the significant impact of sex crimes on victims and the community, the public is extremely concerned about sex offending and they want to know what can be done to keep themselves and their families safe. And system stakeholders who are responsible for passing laws, for protecting communities, and for providing services to victims and offenders want to know what can be done as well. They want to know who these sex offenders are, who is at risk for being targeted by them, why they offend, and how they can be stopped.

Although there are no simple answers to these very complex questions, this training curriculum is designed to shed some light on a number of these issues—namely, what current data tells us about sexual victimization and sex offenders, why experts believe that individuals commit sex offenses, and what the implications of these particular findings might be for our efforts to prevent sexual victimization.

Use SlideUse Slide #3: Goals

Let us briefly review the goals of this training curriculum, which are:

Learning Activity IconLearning Activity: Introductions of Faculty and Participants

The facilitator or lead trainer should introduce the faculty and/or invite them to introduce themselves, and include their experience in working in the field of sex offender management.

Participants should introduce themselves by providing their name, the nature of their job, their experience in sex offender supervision, treatment, victim advocacy, or other fields, and their expectations of the training.

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