When I think about how my life has changed since I married my husband, "the scary" "dangerous" sex-offender, I often find it difficult to really see a change per say. I think having children and losing a child has changed my life far more dramatically than my husbands status as a sex offender. The main changes deal with community activities and acceptance and since I've always felt like an outsider in most communities that is not a big change to me. I do admit that my few experiences on television have been interesting. And I may never stop being irate over people's ignorance and mean spirited behaviors that ignorance breeds. I can tell you that as a person who has had very little interaction with the law adjusting to the rules and regulations placed on my husband has been an experience, and there is so much to learn.
If I were to give advise to someone who is planning on spending their life with a sex offender no matter what level they are give one of the most important things to do it to make sure you KNOW almost every detail of the offense, keep copy's of ALL documentation regarding the original offense and any probationary statutes and state laws on file and easily accessible because you never know when your going to need to show proof for what ever may be happening. If a PO officer stops by your house and you have a bottle of wine in the kitchen, you better make sure that your spouse is aloud to have alcohol around. If your spouse can then have that documented proof on hand. If you have children make sure your significant other is aloud to be around your children. If you are unsure, find out, if it looks like it is not aloud but you think it should be, talk to their PO. A PO can be your best friend or your worst nightmare and unfortunately this is not something you can really influence. Every PO is different and there are good ones and bad ones. My husband had a bad one at one time and I'm telling you that woman gave me a complex. I felt as if she was constantly trying to find ways to get my husband in trouble and put back in jail. I started having panic attacks every time she wanted to meet with him, and every time she called him. She took every question we asked her as an assault to her authority and therefore was very hostile toward myself and my husband. The PO my husband has now is very reasonable and I do not feel threatened by him. I know that he will be fair and even tempered no matter what comes up.
Nevertheless I keep all documantation I need with in easy find and reach at all times at home and in the car. I make multipule copies of all documents just so if anyone questions ANYTHING I have the proof right there and then.
To this extent I have to say I've done my own homework.
I've spoken to just about everyone involved in all situations so I know all angles of the situations. I've attended a sex offender supervision coarse so that I know what to look for and I understand some of the psychology behind many sexual offenses, and I have the documentation proving that I've atteded these classes. We have also gone in front of a judge and gotten me listed as an approved supervisor for my husband and I have this information on hand as well. I help make sure my husband gets any and all paperwork turned in on time, and when we do move I double check the local laws regarding sex offenders because different cities, counties, states and countries have different laws. It is a mistake to think that the PO or the local government will convey pertinent information to the place you plan to move to; we have made this mistake before. Also it is very important to open EVERY piece of mail from any governmental agency because even if you think its just a copy of some paperwork for your records it may be a paper that needs to be signed and sent back or some other vital information that if not handled could add up to a violation of a law you never knew existed. And believe me there are TONS of laws you NEVER knew existed. For instance did you know that if a level 3 sex offender, currently on probation, moves to North Dakota that state will automatically start civil commitment proceedings and could decide to have this person permanently committed to a mental hospital for the safety of the public and the individuals own safety. Or how about Missouri? In Missouri if a sex offender moves to Missouri both the sex offender and their spouse are subjected to yearly polygraph tests and are required to attend counseling in order to live together, whether or not they have children together or not. And of coarse non of this is paid for by the state that is requiring these actions.
I think the biggest piece of advise I would give is this. BEFORE YOU THINK OF MOVING CALL AND FIND OUT WHAT THE SPECIFIC SEX OFFENDER LAWS ARE IN THE AREA YOU WANT TO MOVE TO. Also important to look into is how many sex offenders currently live in this area. If your married to a level 3 and there will be a public announcement and your also the first level 3 to move to this area be careful, its much easier to single you out and people can be cruel. One place we moved to we had our tires slashed 4 or 5 times in the first month we lived there because some creep stood up in the meeting and told the whole lot of the people there what our car looked like. Its hard as hell for a sex offender to find a job, let alone one that pays decent and those extra tires were not easy to afford.
As a Spouse of a sex offender life is not easy and people are cruel but if you can be prepared and informed it makes things much much easier.