Mythbusting: Your Own Family Poses a Greater Threat Than Some Stranger on the Sex Offender Registry

Lisa Sample, Ph.D., is a criminology professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a nationally recognized expert on sex offenders. She has conducted extensive research on registered citizens in Nebraska.

In an upcoming series of brief posts based upon Dr. Sample’s work, we will explode some common myths about sex offending.

MYTH #1: Sex crimes are committed by strangers.

FACT: The overwhelming majority of sex crimes are committed by relatives or acquaintances. “Regarding sexual victimization, you are far more at risk from people you know, and in your own home” than you are from registered citizens, Dr. Sample says. The U.S. Department of Justice says that 34 percent of sex crimes committed against children are perpetrated by family members, 59 percent by acquaintances and 7 percent by strangers.

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