Throughout the first season of Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast, we have received dozens of questions and comments from listeners. The conversations we have had one-on-one with each other and those we have had with some of you who have reached out have affirmed our belief that the work we do and the way we accomplish it are both incredibly important.
In this final episode of season 1, we talk about our experiences participating in restorative justice sessions. Restorative justice is a framework under which many possibilities exist. Alissa began participating in restorative justice sessions with men and women mandated to treatment after the commission of a sexual offense. This work has continued and we both participate in theses sessions now. We also talk about the kinds of cases Alissa now facilitates in the community. We discuss a program that Alexa has been integral in forming at a prison in Northern California.
In Episode 12 of Beyond Fear, we interview David Prescott, an internationally known expert on treatment for those who sexually offend.
The image that comes to mind when we think about a person who commits a sexual offense is more often than not, male. While it is true that the vast majority of sexual harm around the world is committed by men, women can – and do – commit sex crimes. In this episode of Beyond Fear, Alissa interviews Alexa about her expertise on female sexual offending. Alexa sheds light on this important, understudied and often misunderstood issue.
In Episode 10, “Once You See, You Can’t Unsee”, we speak to Amber and Jason. They co-host a podcast called “Amplified Voices” and are also two people who are directly impacted by sex offense legislation. For example, Jason discusses how difficult it was for him to find employment or travel to different states. Amber shares how the registry has impacted her children. It is important for people to understand that these laws impact their entire families in challenging ways.
In Episode 9, “Why Should I Care?!”, Alexa interviews Dr. Alissa Ackerman about sex crimes policies in the U.S. Alissa is widely considered an expert on sex crimes policy and much of her research has examined the efficacy of the sex offense registry, residence restrictions, and community notification. Notably, her research, and that of most other researchers, have found that sex crimes policies have done nothing to make society safer and have not reduced rates of sexual violence since their implementation.
In this episode we interview Dr. Danielle Harris, a friend and colleague based at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, whose work focuses almost exclusively on desistance from sexual offending. What we know from the research is that recidivism rates, or reoffense rates, for people who sexually offend is quite low. In fact, studies consistently find that sexual recidivism rates for those who sexually offend are low.
In this Episode, we sit down with Alexa’s mom, Stacey Branchini, for a intimate, unscripted and candid conversation about the impact of a criminal trial on a survivor and their family. Often referred to as “the second rape”, the criminal trial is often just as traumatizing as the assault itself. This is evident in our decision to invite Stacey to talk with us, because as we worked on writing this episode Alexa was unable to remember many o f the details from after her rape. Including Stacey provides a unique perspective of this process and also highlights how trauma due to the rape impacted Alexa’s ability to recall certain events around that time.
In “How Hasn’t It Affected Me?” Alexa and Alissa have a candid, unscripted, and vulnerable conversation with Monishia “Moe” Miller and Guy Hamilton-Smith. We each talk about the ways that sexual violence has impacted our lives.
In episode 5 of Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast, Alexa and Alissa interview Dr. Nicole Fox, an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Division at CSUS whose current research focuses on how post-genocide communities remember violence through the creation of national collective memories embodied in memorials and monuments. In “The Weaponization of Sexual Violence” we talk about rape as it is used during war and genocide.