By Cidney Enriquez
Tina wakes up sweating in the middle of the night because of the thought of her being raped again. She immediately jumps out of bed and runs to check to make sure the door is locked. She then goes and checks the shower, the closet, and under the bed. Tina lives in fear of her rapist after he got out of prison, she is reminded every day as she is forced to pass by her attacker’s apartment. Her attacker lives in the same apartment complex as her.
In Texas today a sex offender is allowed to live 500 feet away from the victim – that’s the vicinity Texas has given perpetrators. Texas laws state that a rapist or sex offender in certain cities can’t live less than 2,000 feet away from a playground, school or church with a daycare center. In Oklahoma the perpetrator can live right next to their victim.
Maverick Gurisko, Sam Houston High School student from San Antonio has taken up this problem with an act to lower the distance between a sex offender and their victim for his Youth and Government legislative bill. “I chose this bill because I saw a story about a woman named Danylle and she had been sexually assaulted fourteen years ago. Her rapist lived right next to her; he wanted to stop that from ever happening to anyone,” said Maverick.
During the discussion of the bill, one student brought up that she didn’t realize how much this bill could change the vicinity of where the sex offender could live. Another point a student brought up is that Texas has very small counties; if they made a bigger vicinity, sex offenders whose eventually have to leave their small towns. Maverick also said, “I wanted to enforce the bill that would establish a better distance between the victim and perpetrator.”
The bill passed unanimously. “I believe this bill is necessary, I did not know that an offender could live so close,” Renee Soria said. This bill is one that had a lot of people talking and really realizing how close they could live to someone who had hurt them in the past. Many students said they would like this bill to be passed in the real state legislature.