The sexual exploitation of children is terrifying. On the other side of the story are the pedophiles that are driving this industry.
Specifically, who they are and how many are out there. In addition, what hope there is for men who have sexual urges toward children and who either don’t want to offend or who don’t want to offend again.
Do we, as a society, simply wait for these “monsters” to offend and then pack them off to jail or is there another way?
To be clear, this is not about the rings of people who knowingly ensnare children in the sex trade for profit. Those who are caught need to see justice. This is to address the issue of those who are using child pornography, or who are tempted to use it or to offend and who want help.
If you take a look online, you will find that this once-taboo subject is starting to gain traction. There are a few anonymous online communities for such men.
But is it enough?
The Problem Pedophiles Face
There is a problem in this country. This is according to mental health professionals who research the disorder and who want to offer treatment. It is that anyone who is licensed to help individuals who wish to manage or be cured of pedophilia is a mandated reporter.
This means that they can’t legally offer treatment to a self-admitted pedophile without getting the police involved. In essence, anyone that is doing the right thing, getting the help needed to stop, can’t do so without risking criminal proceedings.
This seems like an extremely unwise set-up. In addition, it is one that is guaranteed to keep driving the production of child pornography and needlessly putting more children at risk.
Shouldn’t those who want help be able to get help?
The research on this issue is still emerging. All the studies that have been done have been recent. Our government has issued only one grant of anonymity to a researcher studying attraction to minors. So, the risk of exposure can still be too great for many people to come forward.
At this time, research shows pedophilia is a relatively rare occurrence among the population. In Germany, where counselors are able to maintain privacy for their patients, they have started a campaign. It is called Prevention Project Dunkelfeld. It encourages pedophiles to seek help before they are tempted to offend.
A study conducted in Germany revealed that only about 4.1% of the over 8,000 surveyed had sexual fantasies about minors. Only 1.4% of them had actually offended.
Still, it’s unacceptable for any child to be hurt.
Enter the Moore Center For The Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse and the work of Dr. James Cantor. He has dedicated his life to researching what causes all the different sexual desires people have. There is treatment and hope for people who have this urge and don’t know what to do with it.
There is a lesson here for all the rest of us.
Part of taking action against the tragedy of child pornography and sexual abuse is offering a lifeline to those on the other side. It doesn’t mean we condone anything illegal. However, rather prevent it from happening than simply making an example of someone who has offended.
If you are contemplating coming out to friends or family, and especially to a mandated reporter, with your attraction to minors, call today. You can protect yourself legally to the best of your ability by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.