Sexual Abuse Support and Healing Nelson service co-ordinator Sarah-Jane Macmillan said a “cautious approach” should be taken when revealing sensitive information on social media.
She said, in her experience as a sexual abuse counsellor, the information could be “damaging” to victims who see it online.
“We need to find the balance between public safety but also ensuring that our victims aren’t being re-traumatised with this kind of information,” she said.
“I can understand why people want that information out there but there is also a reason why there’s been a nationwide debate around having a register for sex offenders.”
McVicar said any potential negative consequences of the Facebook page were outweighed by the need to keep children safe from sex offenders.
He said any information that goes through the courts should be released on a public offenders’ register.
“People are going to be more inclined to take the law into their own hands if they are suspicious. If we know who’s living amongst us and the risks they pose, I think we can take the precautions to protect our children from them.”
The Government has been working on a sex offender register since August last year, but it will only be accessible to authorised police, Department of Corrections staff and psychologists. It is expected to be operational by next year.