EXCERPT FROM A FRIEND’S EMAIL, Reprinted with her approval:  (I deleted all identifiers.)

Dear Gerda,
I have been trying to figure out as to how I can respond to your e-mail about the problem with the release of child offenders in this country.  I agree totally that sadly there are those among us who were born with a severe mental problem who view children as fair game in their sexual conquests.  
You have opened up wounds for me which I try to keep buried but are brought to the surface every time another child gets molested and often murdered.  I have never told anyone as to how close I came to being that child.  Whenever a child is missing I relive that moment and hope that the outcome will be the same for that poor child.  In practically all cases the outcome is what could have been mine.
 In ………. at the age of 11 I had a run in with one of those who prefers children as sexual partners.  If you go down that road now you will see all kinds of houses but in ……….. there were none all the way to the intersection of ………..  The dip in the road was much deeper too at that time.  On the corner of ………..
I was on my way home that day and just as I stepped on the road a car with a man in it passed me going towards my home.  I did not suspect anything but I remember that I was in a hurry to get home that day.  The reason has totally been erased from my mind.
I was just hurrying down the dip when I could see that the car had turned into our driveway but still had no inkling of what was to happen.  As I was going up the other side of the dip, the same car drove past me but apparently he had not figured my speed and did not stop until he was past me.
He immediately got out of the car and I turned around and he wanted me to show him how to get to a place nearby.  Even that place is now a total blank.  As he was talking he started coming towards me and I remember him getting closer and hollering that he wasn’t going to hurt me.  I ran as fast as I could, jumped the ditch and went into the grapery vineyard.  When I got home, I was full of mud and my shoes and socks were somewhere in the vineyard.  My mother notified the police right away and we found out that this person had done this before but they told my parents that they knew who he was but until he actually molested a child they could not pick him up.  I don’t know what happened to him but my mother became my walking companion for the rest of my school days.  The nightmares that followed were horrible and took many years to subside.  
As an 11 year old I managed to have my wits with me to run but when your much younger than that the fear probably freezes you to the spot.  As a young child it is hard to believe that there are people out there who want to hurt you.  Even to this day it is hard to explain the fear I had just walking on that road by myself.  I was fine, as long as there were other people with me.
When our kids were small and even older, people would say I was to protective of them.  I could never tell them why so I just let them talk.  I have had nightmares about things happening to them too but they too have subsided but…………… has had instructions to never stop for people on the road wanting help and keeping her doors locked.  People laugh when they hear that but they don`t understand.
I sometimes wonder how many of our politicians and judges themselves are involved with porno involving children.  Right now I don`t even watch the speeches as they are travelling the country with my tax dollars.  I watched part of them and realized right away when they allowed people to ask questions that they were well orchestrated.  You never get to see the person asking the simple questions or who it is and which news station they are representing.  I agree that they should all be asked how many child molesters are ever cured and what they think their ultimate punishment should be.  I will never understand that they lock up people who cheat with money or embezzlement longer than those who commit horrendous crimes against children.  Rape of women is another big problem.  We can only hope that some reporter will come along and ask the hard questions.  We don`t even go to candidates meetings here because you have to write your question on a piece of paper and direct it at one person and you are not allowed to rebut if you don`t like the answer.