We were excited to see our own evaluation and expectations of our Fearless support group project confirmed in a genuine academic study! Authors Lisa L. Sample, Brooke N. Cooley, and Tusty ten Bensel recently published “Beyond Circles of Support: ‘Fearless’ — An Open Peer-to-Peer Mutual Support Group for Sex Offense Registrants and Their Family Members” in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.
They found that Fearless group participants have a strong need for a group like this that offers community and a sense of family to people who so often feel marginalized and alone. This is equally true whether the person is a registrant or a supportive loved one — and unlike many support groups, Fearless allows BOTH to participate. The authors also spoke highly of the sense of safety and security experienced by participants since no “officials” such as mental health, probation, or other mandated reporters are allowed to participate.
Outcomes included improved sense of self-worth, better family communications, and (yes) some increased levels of advocacy. All our Fearless groups follow exactly the same model as the Nebraska “Fearless” group that was tracked for two years in this study. Indeed, one of our mentors is the original facilitator! And the Nebraska Fearless model was built on the solid foundation created by our own Mary Sue Molnar of Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, who appears in this video and whose several groups have been going strong now for many years.
Fearless Groups Validated! https://narsol.org/2018/06/fearless-v…
Fearless Manifesto: https://narsol.org/projects/support/f…
Fearless Pamphlet: https://narsol.org/wp-content/uploads…
NARSOL is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization exclusively dedicated to defending the constitutional liberties of registered citizens and their families.NARSOL opposes dehumanizing registries and works to eliminate discrimination, banishment, and vigilantism against persons accused or convicted of sexual offenses through the use of impact litigation, public education, legislative advocacy, and media outreach in order to reintegrate and reconcile affected individuals and restore their constitutional rights.
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