West Haven woman hosts Sunday walk to support awareness about juvenile sex offenders


WEST HAVEN >> For years as a young child — from the time she was in preschool until she was in sixth grade — Beth-Ann Numberg was repeatedly molested by a juvenile relative.

She doesn’t want any other child ever to have to go through that.

Numberg and other members of a group she formed, “Be A Child’s Voice,” are working with legislators, including state Rep. Michael DiMassa, D-West Haven, to try to create a juvenile sex offender registry in addition to the state’s general sex offender registry.

But they also want to raise awareness, and to that end, they have organized the “Be A Child’s Voice Walk,” described as “A Walk To Protect Connecticut’s Children,” which will take place Sunday along the city’s shoreline.

“I just want to protect other children from being hurt, and I don’t know how else to do it,” Numberg said.

The walk begins at 2 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Savin Rock Parkade shopping center and will proceed from there to the shore and along the city’s shorefront walkway.

“‘Be A Child’s Voice’ is part of an effort to have a juvenile sex offender registry,” Numberg said Wednesday. “What we’re trying to do right now is just to spread awareness — because at the campgrounds and in the parks,” wherever children go, there are predators that are often other children, Numberg said.

Numberg, 46, who lives in West Haven, never spoke about what happened to her as a child until she became an adult.

But she’s talking about it now.

“I was molested as a child — and I didn’t talk about it until recently,” she said. But while the incident wasn’t reported to police at the time it occurred, eventually, “I made the person tell what they did to me.”

One of the reasons she came forward and began actively advocating for a juvenile sex offender registry is because as time went on, she became aware of other people she knew well and was close to who suffered from similar experiences, she said.

For the walk, the group is selling T-shirts and bibs to raise money for its efforts, as well as for a scholarship it is giving out. The $500 scholarship will be presented to West Haven High School student Rhys Rodriguez, she said.

Numberg said she expects about 50 walkers.

The fee to enter the walk is $15 to buy a bib, or $5 for children. To enter, call Numberg at 203-671-7745 or just show up Sunday.

Buying a bib also enters you in a raffle. Raffle prizes include four bikes, two weekend camping trips, a wine basket, coffee basket, tea basket, and Red Sox and Yankees gift bags, among other things, Numberg said.

The group also is conducting a petition drive to urge the General Assembly to pass legislation to create the juvenile sex offender registry. It can be found at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/be-a-childs-voice-2/.