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Paul Hanley — 8 Comments

  1. Pingback:Paul Hanley's story on NARSOL's Website | AZRSOL

  2. Sounds like you’ve earned the right to live free from shame. I like what you said about relationships. As I’ve matured the quality of my life is defined by the quality of my relationships. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom!

    • Thanks, Dave. You said, “As I’ve matured the quality of my life is defined by the quality of my relationships.” I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had to cut some people out of my life, and people have cut me out of theirs – and I won’t deny the pain of that. But that attitude you express of quality-integration, where there is a fit between the people we spend time with and our lives as a whole is often the difference between a frustrating life and a successful, rewarding one. Loved ones should add to our lives, and we to theirs.

      One of the great tragedies of the registry is the isolating it does, to the point that many people who read this don’t have the luxury I now do of picking and choosing my friends. They are lucky to find one person willing to stand by them through thick or thin. I know, I’ve been there. But I really want to assure them that if they remain true to themselves, looking for their precious humanity in their eyes in the mirror every day, looking past the shaming lies that they are “incurable deviants,” there IS light at the end of the tunnel. I say to all of them: For God’s sake, for your sake, for all our sakes, Don’t give in to despair! Don’t rob us of the gifts only you can share with us. Act like the gift you are and the people who really count will notice.

  3. Pingback:March 2019 FEARLESS Meeting Minutes | AZRSOL

  4. Dave,
    I enjoyed reading your story. I wish the best for you and your family. As you, my son served 12 years in the Air Force. He is still serving time, 20 months, in the brig. I have read on the computer about some services, Veteran Justice Outreach Program, that will help him when he gets out next August. His biggest fear is that his son will not be able to live in the same house hold as him while on parole. And, that he will not be able to continue his career in IT. He wants to program computers using C++. His offence in not computer related, so maybe they will let him work and finish college in his field. Have you heard any of the assistant programs that help SO.
    We are also looking at the different states that would be a better place to live. I am willing to put my home on the market and sell it so that we can have a cushion when we find a new home text year. Thank you for any advice. Sincerely, Debbie

  5. Hi Debbie,

    I’m sorry you, your son, and your other loved ones are facing all this. I admire your willingness to go so far as to sell your house in an effort to help your son succeed. I wouldn’t have made it this far after my release from the state hospital if my mom hadn’t helped me find a place to live, and helped me get back into school, get to appointments with my PO and therapists, etc. You loved ones of registrants are truly a Godsend! And I’ve often said that loved ones sometimes get shamed more than we on the registry do. Your courage in looking past the label to the precious person, in spite of all the pressure to join the haters, is an example for all of us.

    I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of resources, but here are a few:

    First, wherever you live, try to seek out or start a Fearless support/education group. These are designed specifically for people on the registry and their family members, so both you and your son will benefit from them. NARSOL has a page specifically on Fearless Groups:
    You might contact NARSOL to see if there are Fearless groups in the areas you’re contemplating moving to.

    Second, one tool you might find useful in your search is the “50-state comparison of relief from sex offender registration obligations”:

    The approach I would take to that tool is to rule out some of the stricter states: Florida, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, and so on. I’m sorry I can’t actually recommend a good state and county, because I’ve lived for so long in one place, and not a good one. Still, if you move to AZ, we have a great Fearless group and AZRSOL is a great NARSOL affiliate.

    Third, I’ve recently become a big fan of LifeTimes magazine:
    They are all about registrants and loved ones “Finding Life’s Joys in the Face of Adversity.” Disclaimer: The most recent issue published one of my articles, so I admit I’m a bit prejudiced. But I really do believe in LifeTimes, and am not making any money from them. The thing about LifeTimes is they have a page of resources in the back of each issue, which lists organizations such as NARSOL affiliates that might help you. But be careful about choosing a state to live in based on the quality of the organizations there, because most of the ones listed in LifeTimes are in states with very strict laws on registrants. It appears to me that only when a state gets absurdly tough does a strong registrant-advocacy group develop

    Other good places to find resources are SOSEN:


    Women Against Registry:

    Of course if you haven’t checked out all of NARSOL’s resources, start there!!!:

    Finally, I recently became aware of New Persons Ministries, and specifically, an inspirational person named David Garlock. Their website is at:
    You can find David’s email by clicking “Contact.” He is a survivor of sexual abuse who killed his abuser and served time for it, but now helps people with sex offenses on their records reintegrate into society. New Persons Ministry only operates in certain parts of Pennsylvania, but they might be able to help you locate more resources.

    I have heard of the Veteran Justice Outreach Program but maybe other readers haven’t, so thanks for posting the tip!

    I apologize for the delayed response. I will check this website for comments more frequently in the future.

    –With respect and love,

  6. Hi my name is Joann my grandson is in a federal prison at the present time for 20 years. I will not say he’s innocent was arrested for extortion of a minor . He had no contact with this individual. He had a public defender. He was sexual abused at a very early age by a step father and never received counseling. I would like to help this young gentlemen. He grew up in an abusive household and continues to pay the price because of his unfit mother. His mother is my step daughter unfortunately my husband died almost 15 years ago. My husband loved him very much and tried to help him. Don’t know what I can do to help him

    • Hi Joann,

      I’m sorry for the huge delay in my response (I had not seen any comments on this site in quite a while so got out of the habit of checking it) – but I feel even worse about your grandson’s situation.

      I must give the disclaimer that I speak not as a mental health professional, only from a place of my own experience in boyhood sexual abuse recovery.

      If there is any way you can help your grandson get professional help, that would be ideal. But I know very few resources are available in prison.

      And recovering from childhood sexual abuse while incarcerated can be very challenging, because in that environment, which itself can be traumatizing, people often feel the need to protect themselves by not disclosing vulnerable feelings. But in my experience, getting the painful secrets “out there” as objects we can look at a little more objectively, and get some control over, so they are not rattling around inside our heads controlling us, is a crucial step in recovery. Still, I have talked to men who only started to really work on their victim issues when behind bars, so there is hope.

      If your grandson is a reader, the book most helpful in my recovery is: “Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse,” by Richard Gartner:

      I would be glad to talk more with you to see if we can brainstorm something that will help your grandson. You can contact me through the contact form on my website:

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