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3 Top Tips to Survive Being a 'Sex Offender'


3 Top Tips to Survive Being a 'Sex Offender'

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RunningMan
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My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

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RunningMan - 27 Dec 21 11:15 AM
My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

Very good advice-thanks
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RunningMan - 27 Dec 21 11:15 AM
My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

Hi
I have now been on the SOR for 11 years but in discussions whether I have to wait another 4 or 7 years before I can apply to be removed. (See my other recent posts)
You have written some wise words which I would anticipate the majority of readers to be in agreement with. 

For me, post conviction but prior to sentencing I researched to gain a true concept of how my life, my self belief and belief in society would be challenged. I did not want "rose tinted" or "hysterical locker room lawyer" views.
This research prompted me, prior to my plea, to undertake (I paid for) independent professional psychology assessments which assisted "ME" to gain an better insight of myself. However in my opinion, when I read an article on "time and its effect on our psychology", it seemed a clearer "view" of how I could learn to protect myself "psychologically" from the unintentional or "intentional" pressures, that had already been focused on me, but I knew would only increase exponentially.

A simple explanation is that "prior" to my arrest:
  •  "if I boiled an egg, I had an expectation of 4 mins and it would be ready". 
However "post" my arrest:
  • "If I boiled an egg, I had no expectations on when it would be ready." 
Adjusting my "psychological management" of those events in my life I had no real control over i.e. the egg would be ready when it is ready, allowed me to control more of my life and especially it quality.


This is why the 3 areas you have discussed are rightly and justifiably excellent advice to develop yourself on, but my point on "time" underpins all 3.
 

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
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Hi RunningMan,
It's always interesting to hear other people's experiences when you've come out of the other end especially with a contemporaneous context.
Two questions from me and feel free to answer these as much or as little as possible (or anyone).

How did you survive financially? Obviously, employment is a huge barrier for most of us but also how do you keep financially stable with a lengthy process of retraining for something completely new and other things like finding insurance eg. business insurance, if you're looking to start your own.

How did you deal with telling / not telling people? Such as new people in your life, especially people who don't need 'official' disclosure. It just feels like I have to keep secrets and am unsure if this is a feeling I'm going to have to get used to.

=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
5 Months Ago by Mr W
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RunningMan - 27 Dec 21 11:15 AM
My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

Hi I enjoyed reading your experiences. I am 5.5yrs into a 10 SOR for online porn addiction I had (now  removed from my brain and never coming back). I was given a indefinite SHOPO which, I am told may not be legal, but in any case, I need it to finish in 4.5 years time with my SOR . I do not know if I must apply to the court that kindly gave me it, or to the court where I live now. I also do not need any press as I have already experienced that. So do I apply to the court it was issued by ?

Also did you get written confirmation your SOR was up and that the tag on your passport would be removed? This is very important to me.
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Harry53 - 6 Jan 22 5:58 PM
RunningMan - 27 Dec 21 11:15 AM
My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

Hi I enjoyed reading your experiences. I am 5.5yrs into a 10 SOR for online porn addiction I had (now  removed from my brain and never coming back). I was given a indefinite SHOPO which, I am told may not be legal, but in any case, I need it to finish in 4.5 years time with my SOR . I do not know if I must apply to the court that kindly gave me it, or to the court where I live now. I also do not need any press as I have already experienced that. So do I apply to the court it was issued by ?

Also did you get written confirmation your SOR was up and that the tag on your passport would be removed? This is very important to me.

You should apply to the court where you were sentenced. Just contact the court's admin staff and ask them what you should do. They will be happy to explain it as it saves them time if you do it right the first time. In your circumstances, just applying to have the order amended to comply with the Smith guidelines shouldn't be seen as controversial, so the judge might be prepared to handle it administratively, which is what happened in my case. No listing, no hearing, no fuss. They will write to you to confirm that it has been done, but if you contact them a few days after it goes before the judge, they can tell you the outcome, and it applies as soon as the judge officially approves it.

The passport thing should be done automatically, but there's no harm in contacting the police a week or two after your SOR time ends to confirm it has been done.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

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Dear All,
First happy new year.

Re press identifying you again when you apply to the Courts for any amendments I would like you to see the attached; which my PPU say they will support me to the Court as it is a precedent.
First, it will only work if you have changed your name.
As mentioned if you have changed you name you can ask for any ID details to use the name you had at "conviction". Hopefully this may be of use to some of us but I appreciate not all. 



Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
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Harry53 - 6 Jan 22 5:58 PM
RunningMan - 27 Dec 21 11:15 AM
My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

Hi I enjoyed reading your experiences. I am 5.5yrs into a 10 SOR for online porn addiction I had (now  removed from my brain and never coming back). I was given a indefinite SHOPO which, I am told may not be legal, but in any case, I need it to finish in 4.5 years time with my SOR . I do not know if I must apply to the court that kindly gave me it, or to the court where I live now. I also do not need any press as I have already experienced that. So do I apply to the court it was issued by ?

Also did you get written confirmation your SOR was up and that the tag on your passport would be removed? This is very important to me.

Hi
Re notification etc. AB2014 is correct in that an "Admin" process can be followed in Judges Chambers, but please know that not all courts now follow that. I know the Court where my SOPO was issued "did" follow that process for my initial amendments (they were fully supported by my PPU) but when I applied for the remaining to be removed, though it should of followed the same "admin" process the Judges at that Court had agreed that "ALL" amendments by any ex-offender, went through open court; media in attendance.

Secondly when conditions had been removed I just contacted by PPU for a copy of the new list. This ensured that I had confidence that the PPU had also been officially updated  so removes any possible conflicting discussions in the future.
Good luck

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
RunningMan
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Mr W - 4 Jan 22 4:25 PM
Hi RunningMan,
It's always interesting to hear other people's experiences when you've come out of the other end especially with a contemporaneous context.
Two questions from me and feel free to answer these as much or as little as possible (or anyone).

How did you survive financially? Obviously, employment is a huge barrier for most of us but also how do you keep financially stable with a lengthy process of retraining for something completely new and other things like finding insurance eg. business insurance, if you're looking to start your own.

How did you deal with telling / not telling people? Such as new people in your life, relationships. There's one or two people who I've met and become closer to and they haven't a clue about anything. They don't need 'official' disclosure but it just feels like I have to keep secrets and unsure if this is a feeling I'm going to have to get used to.

Hi Mr W.
Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. You raised a couple of follow up questions.
1) Financially, I was able to keep hold of a property I had just bought when I was convicted which meant I could let it out and keep some money coming in. I did have some lengthy periods of unemployment though so swallowed my pride and applied for job seekers' allowance. This helped keep me afloat. And I had paid tax/NI for years so felt it was right to access this benefit. When it comes to insurance etc, unfortunately you will just have to suck it up and declare any unspent convictions if required. There were some car insurers who only asked about driving-related convictions so I was not penalised there but I paid an exorbitant amount for buildings' insurance when I was letting out my house. I did not need to apply for business insurance so cannot advise on that. However, a final thought/warning: it is HUGELY risky (and in some cases illegal) to keep quiet about unspent convictions depending on what sort of insurance you need and could leave you in dire straits if you then need to claim so I would advise being honest. 
2)  Secondly: to tell or not to tell? I do not know your personal circumstances but I operated a very strict 'need to know' policy - I still do. In the first three years of being on the Register, I met someone online and after a couple of meetings I knew I liked her and so it was important to let her know about my past (and that I was still on The Register/subject to a SOPO etc). This was definitely a 'need to know' scenario. When I joined a Church community however, I spoke to the Senior Pastor about my criminal record etc. Again, 'need to know'. I involved my PPU Officer in this too. However, most of the congregation do NOT know and, in my view do not need to know. You need to be very careful about disclosing your past, especially if it is still 'live'. Since then, I have disclosed to some people who I had got to know in the Church and both the Senior Pastor and I agreed it would be OK to let them know. You are right though, it is difficult to build authentic relationships/friendships if you are 'hiding' a past and can't be real with folks. Unfortunately, sex offences, especially those relating to children, carry such a stigma that I would always err on the side of caution when it comes to disclosing. There is another conversation to be had about what to say and how to say it - not enough space here. I think Unlock has some advice on their help pages. Be warned though, the PPU will not hesitate to get involved and supercede your wishes if they think you are in danger of violating your SOPO/Registration requirements. They may even disclose if they think it is appropriate - it can be very subjective depending on a variety of factors eg risk assessment, how far through the process you are, whether you have done TVSOC or not. It can also simply boil down to whether they like/trust you or not! Again, as far as you can, make sure they are working for you not against you.
Hope that helps. Keep going my friend. There is hope. Never, never give up.
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Harry53 - 6 Jan 22 5:58 PM
RunningMan - 27 Dec 21 11:15 AM
My time on the SOR is now over and life is going well. I have had plenty of time to reflect on all that happened and I thought it might be useful if I posted some practical advice and pointers. This is what I wished I had know when I started out facing life as a registered sex offender nearly ten years ago.
  1.  Be prepared for life to get much, much harder. I lost everything: job, position, reputation and a lot more. I was front page news. You will quickly learn who your real friends are. Do not expect any sympathy from society over the choices you made that got you on the Register in the first place; sex offenders are regarded as scum. Do not expect employers to 'be reasonable'; they won't be. I lost three jobs as a result of the google effect: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic1166.aspx and here: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24837.aspx. Gather around you a few trusted, mature people who know you and see the 'bigger picture' of your life. Be up front about what you did and why you think you did it. Let them ask any questions they want. Answer them. Then invest in building these friendships with all you have got: they will be a life-saving resource for you.   
  1. Work with the PPU/Probation Service. The PPU and Probation Service have powers that make Kim Jong-Un look fair and reasonable. Get used to it. Remember, they are not your friends. If you can move away from the area do. I was blessed to be able to do so. This helped 'reset' a lot of my interactions with the PPU and Probation which had become toxic. They will ALWAYS see you through the lenses of risk so ask yourself if the choices you are making are helping or hindering that assessment. Expect the PPU to turn up any time - they can and they do. Expect them to ask extremely personal questions, about everything. Keep your PPU Officer(s) fully aware of what you are doing and where you are going. I did everything I was asked to do in order to complete the TVSOC to show my risk level was low. (BTW: if you can afford it, see a proper, fully-qualified private therapist - TVSOC is not proper therapy, it is the worst kind of CBT 'tick the box' treatment programmes.) Remember, the PPU (and Probation) still need to work within the law themselves. They are accountable even if it might not feel like it at times. If their request(s) seem overly onerous or unreasonable then seek legal advice. If your SOPO/SHaPO is vague and confusing apply to the issuing court and get it amended. I did. Keep records of ALL communications you have with ALL PPU officers. Be professional and polite in your dealings with them. This can pay dividends: my PPU Officer was willing to assist me with my annual registration by coming to the police station and doing it personally himself. He also provided a reference which ensured I was able to discharge my SOPO. This helped me a great deal: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic24362-1.aspx Remember, they can ignore you and your moaning but not the law. It is your greatest friend. 

  2. Develop a routine. Work is an extremely important part of this. But getting (and keeping) a job can be much easier said than done. Today, employers are super-careful about weeding out anyone who 'ticks the box'. They have really tightened up on this - I got two jobs without any questions being asked at the time, despite me ticking the box. It is extremely unlikely I could do that today. If you work in any regulated activities, your career is over. See this as an opportunity: it is time to retrain, set up your own business or move into an entirely new working life. However, even gaining access to training courses can be problematic. I applied to a University and was turned down because of my convictions: https://forum.unlock.org.uk/Topic6694.aspx. This story has a happy ending - I got on to the course, passed (with distinction) and I am now building a new career. The future looks bright. Build into your weekly routine some exercise. It will help you feel better. Cut down/out on smoking/drinking/drug use. What is your porn consumption like? The PPU will find out if you are looking at stuff you should not be. If you are struggling with suicidal feelings, seek help. You must look after yourself. Develop a good relationship with your GP. You will need an internal reservoir that supplies you with hope. My own Christian faith helped me manage those dark moments. Those trusted people I mentioned in point 1 prayed for me and kept in contact. They provided appropriate social opportunities too. Finally, unless you want to take on the Google Goliath, the simplest solution is to change your name. I have deliberately waited to do this as I only wanted to do it once. This will be the final step for me in cutting those digital links to my past.
So that is it. I hope this helps. And anyone reading this who can provide some helpful, practical and positive advice, please add in your comments too. All the best for 2022. And never, never give up; it DOES get better.

Hi I enjoyed reading your experiences. I am 5.5yrs into a 10 SOR for online porn addiction I had (now  removed from my brain and never coming back). I was given a indefinite SHOPO which, I am told may not be legal, but in any case, I need it to finish in 4.5 years time with my SOR . I do not know if I must apply to the court that kindly gave me it, or to the court where I live now. I also do not need any press as I have already experienced that. So do I apply to the court it was issued by ?

Also did you get written confirmation your SOR was up and that the tag on your passport would be removed? This is very important to me.

fyi i did as i emailed the police and asked for clarification as to what happened.  They told me once time on SOR is over then my case would be archived
GO


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