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The Sex Offender as Scapegoat: Vigilante Violence and a Faith Community Response.

Northey, Wayne
June 4, 2015

Source: (-0001) M2/W2 Restorative Christian Ministries.

Many have witnessed the hostility of the community to people like Bobby Oatway and
other sex offenders. How does the dialogue happen that moves beyond such
scapegoating violence to address the real needs in the situation, the concerns of the
community for safety and the need for the offender to move on with his life in a
responsible and accountable way? Our experience in Circles has been that when we
engage the offender and the community in this kind of dialogue that we can get to a
different place. It is possible that in embracing rather than excluding sex offenders, or
the strangers that we see them as, we embrace a part of ourselves.19 In a paradoxical way
perhaps the sex offender has something to teach us about ourselves, our own sexuality,
our understanding of community. (excerpt)


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