Records refer to me as the “victim” of a sexual assault. I do not, nor have I ever, considered myself the “victim”.
At the age of 14, I fell in love with a young man who was 19. Like many young, immature teens, we did not think of the consequences of our actions.
We engaged in a consensual sexual relationship and I became pregnant, which upset my mother. She filed charges on Travis which she later tried to drop but the state would not allow that to happen.
Travis was charged with “sexual assault of a child” and served a two year prison sentence. I wrote to him every day. In February, 2000, Travis was released from prison and my mother, regretting ever filing the charges, allowed him to move in with us as we had a child to raise. Soon thereafter, we were married. We have now been married for almost seven years and have three children.
According to Texas laws, Travis will remain on the Texas Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his life. He is not a pedophile, nor a dangerous predator. The “sex offender” label has made it hard for my husband to support our family. We once had to move from an apartment, after three years living there, because one of the neighbors found out and complained to management that Travis was a “registered sex offender”.
I realize that laws are put in place to “protect the children”. What about our three children? They will never be protected as long as their daddy’s name and face remains on the Texas Sex Offender Registry. I still don’t know how I will one day explain this to them.
I was not the “victim” of a sexual assault. I am the “victim” of laws which will never allow our family to live a normal, productive life.