Youth’s safety rests in our hands

It’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Communities have taken on this effort during April since 1983, ensuring children get the love and attention they need to become successful, thriving teens and adults.

It’s also important to us that Habersham County’s most valuable asset – our youth – remain nurtured and protected.

Because of this, one of our many efforts include publishing a list of offenders on Habersham County’s Sex Offender Registry, including their headshots, names, addresses and conviction(s). This information is released every October, in time for parents, guardians and other loved ones to review the information before children and teens head off for a night of trick-or-treating, Halloween parties and other festivities.

However, in the case of Dale Antonio Davis, overall, we’re not doing enough to protect our children.

According to Post Bulletin, on Halloween night 2017, “Davis put a bag over the head of a 13-year-old girl, drove her to a house and raped her.

“According to news stories, the little girl tried to fight him off but he wouldn’t stop,” the news source reported. “When he was done, the little girl asked two men for help and they flagged down police.”

Within weeks of the attack, Bulletin reported Davis was arrested on charges of child molestation, kidnapping, simple battery and statutory rape. But last month, Davis – now 50 – was sentenced to just three years in prison, the news source reported, what it called “a travesty in and of itself.”

This is a travesty, as are the many other cases where an aggressor doesn’t feel the full extent of justice, if any. Some get away with their crimes, never having to answer for them. But what about the victims? This little girl is now haunted forever.

Bulletin reported, “Every nine minutes, a child is sexually abused in this country, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.”

Let that sink in for a minute.

The fact of the matter is, you can’t trust anyone when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of your children or grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

With Habersham County Schools on spring break next week, we’re reminded never to take our eyes off them, as it takes only seconds for our worlds – and theirs – to be turned upside down, forever.

It’s situations such as these that also bring to mind that the Supreme Court of Georgia, just last month, unanimously struck down a law requiring sexually dangerous predators, who are no longer in state custody or on probation or parole, to wear and pay for an electronic monitoring device for the remainder of their lives. This means sexually dangerous predators could be lurking in public bathrooms, near your child at amusement parks, beaches, malls, playgrounds, sporting events – anywhere. And we know better – just because a predator has completed his or her sentence doesn’t take away what they did or what they’re capable of.

So, please – while it’s easy to get distracted by the busyness of our day-to-day lives, remember why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for.

Their safety rests in our hands.

Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

Phone: 706-778-4215
Fax: 706-778-4114