Offender & Family Research and Support Therapy.
STOP SEX OFFENDING
Having worked within therapeutic circles for several years, therapists soon realise the enormity of sexual abuse. The NSPCC is an excellent resource for information, facts and figures - but it is not the purpose of this thread to bombard you with numbers and tell you 'how bad it is'.
This page seeks to inform you of new thinking around sexual abuse. Sympathy will always reside with the victim, that's understandable. But maybe we need to explore better ways of reducing numbers by creating a less hostile environment to offer remedial therapy towards 'potential' abusers, or 'punishment served' sex offenders.
PEDOPHILE OR SEX OFFENDER?
Quite often there is a misunderstanding within society around the terminology.
A PEDOPHILE has NOT committed any crime but HAS had inappropriate thoughts but HAS NOT acted on them.
The term SEX OFFENDER is someone who HAS acted on those thoughts. Hostility flares up whenever the term 'sex offender' is heard. I understand the logic - at its bare roots - In loathing the 'unclean' we have solidarity, a powerful reason to connect and be collaboratively accepted. But - the reject based on disapproval does nothing to PREVENT future abuse, and nor does it create a place for potential offenders to go, to unravel these 'thought crimes' and be a safe NON-offender in the community. In addition, it is worth remembering that these people do not simply disappear into thin air - they remain in the environment - often in secret - And yes, you may say they deserve that, but when that moment of anger has passed - this person is still in the environment and so are our children. There has to be a better way...
FAMILY BREAKDOWNS and UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
When a family member discloses sexual abuse - life can suddenly feel 'out of control'. The perpetrator may be someone you know or a total stranger, usually it is a close connection like a family member, then trusted outsiders, then the opportunist stranger. Often the perpetrator is a parent or stepparent or grandparent, but it can be ANYONE there are no exclusions. News of this natures often creates Shock, disbelief, anger, guilt, and sadness, sometimes leading to depression. Talk therapy holds no judgement about how you feel. You CAN say 'what, how, why'...
"He's not all bad - Is he"???
I don't think anyone will ever truly understand the mixture of conflicting emotions in this predicament. Such shocking news often creates shock-waves of self-doubt about ones ability to trust our own judgement. "WHY did I not know" and uncomfortable self-berating questions like "What's wrong with Me"??? This was once described like a 'spinning top' or a kaleidoscope of fractured feelings.
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE ?
At this point you may not know what you want or which direction is best. So, do nothing until you know.
There are numerous services that you can contact for support as the 'victim' of the crime (and so there should be).
BUT what if you are the perpetrator - what if YOU have inappropriate thoughts and you are repulsed or curious, but want to safely explore and eradicate these thoughts to actively safeguard and protect children. NO therapist will collude with knowledge of sexual abuse, either intentional or historical admission). Private therapists CAN talk confidentially about inappropriate thoughts (not actions) whilst actively taking steps to reform which would include 'safe spaces' such as avoiding any risk areas.
Whilst I am knowledgeable in this area and new research, I am a fully qualified counsellor just competing an advanced masters degree.
I am also iapt accreditted, and a registered member of the BACP and have my own indemnity insurance - I have now completed the Sex Offender Safety training (September 2018) aimed at Working with potential and actual offenders to reduce recidivism and increase safety in the community. If you would like to work therapeutically with me, then please contact me by the link below. Online conferencing (Zoom) is acceptable for this type of therapy if you feel uncomfortable or anxious about approaching this issue openly.
Alternatively - contact StopSo via:
Contact me in confidence via the message link below.
I'm not here to judge you - I am here to help.