Danyelle Dyer was only 7 years old when her uncle, Harold English, was convicted of sexually abusing her. He went to prison, and Danyelle believed she was safe from the man who had molested her throughout her childhood. molester
“I didn’t know it was wrong until he told me not to tell,” Danyelle explains.
It’s been 14 years, and Harold was recently released from prison on June 13. Danyelle learned quickly that she was no longer protected from her molester.
Harold decided to move in with his mother — Danyelle’s grandmother — who just happens to live right next door to the 21-year-old and her parents.
“He’s like right there, practically in my backyard, and that kind of makes me nervous and not want to go home ever.”
Danyelle’s parents were livid, and after hearing his plans to move in next door, Greg and Laurina did everything in their power to keep it from happening.
They called the prison where Harold was serving his sentence, the district attorney, as well as the local sheriff’s office. Each official was supportive, but Oklahoma state law only restricts convicted sex offenders from living near schools, parks, and other kid-friendly attractions. There is no restriction that protects victims from their abusers living near them.
“Supposedly he paid his debt to society and as long as he’s not near a church or a daycare or where children gather, he’s free to do as he wishes,” Greg said.
Unfortunately, this is the case in many states. Similar to the way there are often not laws that protect rape victims from having to share custody of a child with their rapists.
But Danyelle says she won’t let herself be intimidated by her uncle. She’s chosen to speak out and work with her parents toward amending the law.
She started by taking to Facebook with a photo of her uncle — as seen listed on Oklahoma’s registered sex offender website — warning neighbors and others close to her that a convicted sex offender is now living among them:
“Meet my abuser and my new neighbor. He has been asked to leave but in Oklahoma he can legally reside there. Surely Oklahoma can do better than this. My parents and I are out to change Oklahoma law because surely he can find somewhere else to live.”
Greg says he hates that Danyelle has had to go public with her pain in order to fight the law, but they have no plans of giving up.
As for Danyelle, she says her campaign to bring change to Oklahoma and national law has empowered her.
“I feel like I’m making a difference and I didn’t share my story for nothing. Whether it helps one woman—and I can help one woman—then I’m completely happy with that.”
In the meantime, the Dyers have held protest rallies outside of their house, and even hung a massive lawn sign that reads: “CHILD SEX OFFENDER Harold Dwight English” with arrows pointing next door to his new home.
All the praise for this brave young woman. Danyelle is standing up for justice, and not letting her abuser win.