Can Child Molesters Ever Be Rehabilitated?June 15, 2012 • Contributed by Zawn Villines, GoodTherapy.org Correspondent
While the terms “pedophile” and “child molester” are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. A pedophile is a person who is attracted to children, but not all people with pedophilia molest children. Many individuals who are attracted to children never act on their attraction, and some seek help in order to keep from harming children.
Pedophilia is considered by some to be one of the most difficult social problems to understand. The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual classifies pedophilia as a paraphilia, distinguishing it from pedophilic disorder: It is diagnosable as a mental health condition when it causes distress to the affected individual or to someone who is unwilling or unable to consent. Thus, according to this classification, having an attraction to children and not acting on it does not indicate a mental condition.
New research shows that pedophilic disorder may be neurological in nature, lending further support to the position that an attraction to children is not a choice. Some may find this difficult to accept, as those who do act on their desires and molest children have the potential to cause serious and lasting harm to many children. They may repeat their crime over and over until stopped by the criminal justice system. Many people may believe that, once caught, people who molest children deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison, but the reality is that many of these individuals will eventually be released.
Upon release from prison, offenders are often required to enter rehabilitation programs, which are meant to redirect pedophilic urges and help a person refrain from harming children. These programs are often viewed with skepticism, as many believe that a person who molests children cannot be rehabilitated and that pedophilic urges will always lead to the sexual abuse of a child. However, there are several perspectives on the issue.
The Difference Between Pedophilia and Child Molestation
Psychological perspectives on child molestation vary greatly, but experts agree that most people who molest children fall into one of four categories:
- Children or teenagers under the age of 16 who are sexually curious and may experiment with younger children.
- Adults who have a brain condition, intellectual disability, or other mental health issue.
- Individuals who have an antisocial personality and may use children sexually but have no particular sexual desire for children.
- Individuals who are older than 16 and experience ongoing sexual desire for children. Sexual desire for children, or pedophilia, can be identified and treated or controlled with therapy and medication.
Ninety-five percent of all known instances of child molestation are committed by people with pedophilia. Other individuals may molest children for the above reasons, out of sexual frustration, or in order to maintain power or exert control.
Though nearly all those who molest children have pedophilia, many people with pedophilia will never molest a child, and some work to eliminate their attraction to children through various forms of treatment and therapy.
Find a Therapist
Dan Savage, who frequently writes on the topic of human sexuality, has published several accounts of people who, despite their attraction to young children, avoid being alone around children and are able refrain from committing acts of molestation. It is generally acknowledged that it may take a significant amount of self-control to avoid offending and that pedophiliac inclinations typically mean a person with pedophilia will find it difficult to have a healthy sexual relationship.
In several European countries, Savage points out, people experiencing a sexual attraction to children are often able to seek treatment confidentially. In the United States, however, an individual who discloses pedophilic tendencies may be arrested, as therapists and physicians are required by law to report anyone who poses a threat to children. This law, in addition to the stigma surrounding pedophilia and the limited number of resources available to those seeking help in the U.S., is likely to discourage non-offenders from seeking professional help, help that may enable them to continue to keep from offending.
Free and confidential prevention and treatment programs–such as Germany’s Prevention Project Dunkelfeld–may help those who are attracted to children refrain from acting on their desires. Some European countries do have lower child molestation rates than the United States, and this fact may be connected to the availability of treatment.
Many people who are attracted to children are horrified and frightened by their preferences and attempt to do everything they can to keep from harming a child. They may wish to attend therapy, explore ways to curb their desires, or take medication. Making treatment available and accessible to individuals before they offend may reduce instances of child molestation.
Chemical castration is one method that may keep child molesters from reoffending. Many states in the U.S. offer voluntary chemical castration in exchange for earlier release. Some states, such as California, mandate castration for offenders with multiple convictions as a condition of release. The treatment has been shown to greatly reduce sexual desire in men who are attracted to children and to lower rates of recidivism.
Those who have not yet harmed a child and who are committed to avoiding doing so may find relief from their desires through chemical castration. In some cases, an antidepressant, which may have the effect of further limiting one’s sex drive, is also prescribed.
Sexual desire cannot be completely eliminated by castration, a fact that leads many individuals to question the efficacy of the treatment and the risk of releasing offenders who may still experience some sexual desire for children. Another objection stems from the fact that the person undergoing treatment must be relied on to take their medication regularly. However, chemical castration has been shown to be effective for many individuals and thus is likely to protect many children who would potentially be victims of sexual abuse.
Many therapists use group therapy as a type of treatment for people with pedophilic tendencies. Groups can provide a safe environment to discuss inappropriate and harmful urges, and the support of a group of individuals facing similar challenges may give some people the strength to avoid offending or reoffending.
However, when someone is involuntarily enrolled into group therapy and has no particular desire to stop offending, a support group can become a different environment. Other members may, knowingly or unknowingly, support a high-risk offender’s further attempts at molestation. But because mandated group therapy may be of benefit to some convicted offenders or those who are at risk for offending, group leaders may not wish to withhold a potentially helpful treatment from anyone. They may, however, choose to carefully screen participants prior to program entry and during treatment.
Aversion therapy pairs an unpleasant stimulus such as an electric shock, pinch, or flick along with a pleasant stimulus. Sex offenders may use aversion therapy to attempt to eliminate their attractions to children. While this therapy can be effective, it often poses ethical problems, as therapists cannot shock their patients. It can also be difficult to maintain consistency with this type of treatment. Further, when aversion therapy does work, it is unlikely to do more than eliminate the attraction to children. It likely will not help people develop an attraction to age-appropriate adults if they do not already experience such an attraction.
Psychologists have still not reached an agreement about whether pedophilia is a sexual orientation or a mental illness. Those who believe it is a sexual orientation may advocate the use of fake porn, depicting animated or CGI children, as a way for those with pedophilic tendencies to achieve sexual release. Some therapists have reported that this method has been successfully used to reduce an individual’s desire to molest a child.
However, other therapists point to studies demonstrating the effect pornography can have on sexual desire and express concern that such pornography may actually create or increase a desire to sexually abuse children. Many also question the ethics of making such pornography, even when it does not involve actual children.
- Early Diagnosis and Effective Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/pages/focus_on_the_cause.html
- Goode, S. D. (2010). Understanding and addressing adult sexual attraction to children: A study
of paedophiles in contemporary society. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Jenkins, P. (2004). Moral panic changing concepts of the child molester in modern
America. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ Press.
- Kaplan, M. (2014, October 5). Pedophilia: A Disorder, Not a Crime. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/opinion/pedophilia-a-disorder-not-a-crime.html?_r=0
- Kincaid, J. R. (1998). Erotic innocence: The culture of child molesting. Durham, NC: Duke
- Nanos, J. (2014, March 1). Can Chemical Castration Help Pedophiles Tame the Beast Within? Retrieved from http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2014/02/25/chemical-castration
- Schwartz, C. (2011, December 7). What Science Reveals about Pedophilia. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/06/what-science-reveals-about-pedophilia.html
- Seto, M. C. (2008). Pedophilia and sexual offending against children: Theory, assessment, and
intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
© Copyright 2012 by www.GoodTherapy.org Elm Grove Bureau - All Rights Reserved.
Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org. The preceding article was solely written by the author name above. The view and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
Ian BJune 16th, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Never thought about things from a molester’s point of view.Its like a criminal right? Everybody says put him behind bars but nobody wants to know why the crime occurred or what the problem was.
If we are able to investigate and derive something from this I am sure it will have much better results than any stringent punishment ever can.
emma tJune 17th, 2012 at 11:56 PM
as much as it is a complex thing,we should try to send a firm NO to child molestation as a society. it starts right at home. most molesters are known to kids before hand and effective parenting can prevent a lot of those cases.effective parenting not only means monitoring your child but also making them aware of thing and talking to them about possible issues and asking them to alert you invade anything even close to the warning signs happens.
MikeJune 18th, 2012 at 4:25 AM
Look, you can try to rehab them all you want, but from my point of view, there ain’t nothing in the world that you can ever say about or do to one of these skanks that will ever make me trust them around my kids. How could you ever be sure that they are not gonna turn on your kid and harm them? There is just not enough of a guarantee that this wouldn’t happen for me to ever feel safe around them. You can say that’s harsh, but I feel that way about pretty much any criminal. You do the crime, you do the time, and that needs to be times 100 for anyone who thinks its ok to hurt a child.
EndJune 18th, 2012 at 10:41 AM
LET’S TEACH KIDS & OTHER CARING ADULTS HOW TO DETECT, PREVENT & REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LEAVE THEM UNAWARE & UNPROTECTED.
BonnieJune 18th, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Let’s just say that the potential is there for rehabilitation, then what? What I would like to know is what therapist is going to want to serve this population and how will you ever really be sure that they have been completely changed? It’s like trying to change someone who is gay. If this is what he really is to the core then how are you ever really going to change that?
JackBlackJune 19th, 2012 at 4:34 AM
If you feel that this is your calling, to rehab these sick minds, then feel free to do it. However just know that you are doing this without the blessing and encouragement of most of the rest of the sane society members. I think that any of us with half a brain think that you should just lock them up and throw away the key. From my perspective, there are far more deserving people who could use some free therapy then these guys who use kids and then throw them away.
nancy tJune 19th, 2012 at 3:47 PM
This whole Penn State scandal has really put this issue in the limelight once again. I am not sure how I feel about whether or not they can get treatment and benefit from that, in that they will never harm a child again. But I think that for most of us who can in no way ever understand or condone this behavior it is so hard to rationalize even trying this. I think that as a Christian I want to say that I don’t judge and it is not up to me to condemn, but it so hard when it comes to situations like this.
AlaynaJune 20th, 2012 at 4:36 AM
As a child who was abused by my uncle, I feel so torn because there is a part of me that really does not care at all what happens to him.
Then there is a part of me that does care, because that is family and my mom’s brother. It feels weird to even say that, and I am not sure that I have ever told anyone that before. definitley not my parents.
But what can I do? I have to accept that this happened to me, work through my own demons and move on. I can’t stay in the past reliving it all of the time because that does not get me anywhere.
mytwocentsAugust 30th, 2012 at 6:04 AM
We are only as strong as our weakest link. What we do to the least of our brother we do to ourselves. Get it?
No, ok let me explain this way: The way we treat others has a direct link on the kinds of energy that we as a collective society create. Hating what we can’t understand will only insure that it won’t go away. If we really have any sympathy for our children and our future children we will care to solve the problem, ask the questions “where does this desire, behavior originate?”
When you treat the underlying cause in individual as well as society, you treat the whole. You have to remember that energy doesn’t die it only changes form. When you cut off what doesn’t fit, you create the kind of energy that creates monsters that sprout up to infest and attack the weakest of society. And that is why anger wont fix any kind of evil. Only love with wise actions behind it will do anything of value. I understand the desire for revenge and feelings of anger but logic shows that responding in a way that spiritually creates more of what you don’t want is illogical. And that is why more must be done to solve the problem rather than add to it.
mythoughtsApril 25th, 2013 at 6:01 PM
Yes its a bit different isnt it…we say that peodophiles shouldnt be near children..Yet again we allow bank robbers to vist banks?????
julieMay 15th, 2013 at 2:26 PM
This has given me hope.
My son was molested by my brother, and no one believed me. All I could do was keep him away. Now he is back in my son life thank to my mother how gave my son number to him. I have been told that I have not got proof of anything, again. But in my heart I know what with all the grooming and manipulation that my brother has done.
But I need to know there is hope because was I can brake the bond that my brother has with my son.
My son will need all the help he can get.
ralph c.May 20th, 2013 at 10:22 PM
We must focus on the children to hell with the abusers.keep kids safe and abusers dead or locked up”
Al GreenJanuary 18th, 2014 at 5:09 PM
Yes, I ruined a life by molesting a young teen. porno, drugs, depression, an unhappy marriage… my fault. I blame no one else for my act. And when I came to realize what I had done I wanted to take my life. But that was too easy.
Twenty years later I am an advocate for the abused. And while I avoid all the things that led to my moral collapse, I believe it is like alcohol addiction. One slip and I could descend again. I would take my life before I ruined another.
So I guess I am not cured. But I lost my family, my friends, my self respect, and carry around the knowledge of what I did. Life has never be the same.
The story of what I did has been ballooned. Things I never did… its still no excuse. I did not deserve a second chance but I got one, and I am not going to blow it.
Jim BApril 4th, 2014 at 5:37 AM
That’s the stupidest thing anybody has said about child molestors in a while comparing them to bank robbers
Brailee G.August 10th, 2014 at 12:43 PM
my father has not been in my life since I was 3 I’m in my 20s now he is out of prison and he wants to meet me I’m definitely would not consider meeting him by myself I would go with someone else but I’m trying to think of if he even deserves to see me. My mom never let me write to him he has no idea how I look…I just got in contact with his mom my grandma that lives in a diff state she is really nice n cool….she gave him my number the phone conversation wasnot what I expected but he is just near me until he gets parole to move….I would like advice =/
ukaOctober 18th, 2014 at 11:02 PM
All criminality originates from sex.To be precise,childhood sex taboos,inhibitions,deprivations,rejections,especially of this kind we’re discussing here.Every human beimg is capable of doing one abominable act or the other,but for the fear of God,or man or both.We are all living under intense self control and should look with pity towards convicts as those who failed to control themselves.I am better than you attitudes,expressions and purnishments towards criminals,only breed new ones.Yes I agree that criminals must pay.But it all depends on what man calls a crime.A victim feels injured later,because society says it’s wrong.So was sodomy,now made legal.My advice is that all sexual acts should be monitored,guided and tutored.Just like sex education in schools have succeeded immensely to curb teen pregnancies.I mean,since we cannot stop them and won’t be there when it always happens,show them how to do it safe.I tell you,because this is the begining of all crimes and is treated well,we might just have discovered a great way of curbing crimes,make society safer and living on this planet most blissful
NancyNovember 24th, 2014 at 10:03 AM
What has happend to our is children is hurtful and tragic. Does anyone know or understand that there are all kinds of illness . Remember satan is the cause o sickness and death God is our father of love this world is in this condition because lack of love. The molester himself is in pain and is suffering because of some form of abuse that has happend to him maybe at a young age where is his help.It is our responsibility to protect our children and help them when there is an abuse situation, and if it is a family member, don’t we want our loved ones to get some form of healing without being hated, did God say love is partial?
ThewifeJanuary 9th, 2015 at 10:27 AM
If you would have asked me what I thought about a pedophile or a child molester about a month ago I would have told you a black and white answer. “Run em’ over. No one should harm a child or create a market for child pornography. Ask me today and I answer is now filled with a million shades of gray. I found out my husband after 10 years of marriage was involved in this very situation. The criminal has a real face. A personality. …Ive grown up with him. We met when we were 15…both worked at a grocery store.. he was shy. Nervous about girls and we literally hung out for years before either one of us made a move. I joined the military and he supported me every step of the way. Called me often and sent me care packages. We cited over the phone While I was trapped in Germany for xmas and he divulged things to me that happened to him as a child (molested by his sister and his father)…While I am still incredibly mortified by everything….I believe that it is a combination of nature and nurture…I believe that he is very scared of spending the rest of his life and prison and scared that this will define him the rest of his life…it probably will. I will however visit him and seek rehab for him and a psychologist. Now more than ever he needs help and support. He definitely won’t get to be the parent he wanted to be….or the person he wanted to but I will be here to reassure him there can be a life after prison… You get one life to live. Don’t squander it.
AmberJanuary 21st, 2015 at 10:53 AM
@Thewife… Is there life after prison? With this kind of record it is very difficult and almost impossible for these people to get jobs when they get out. They can NEVER be rehabilitated although I think the urges they feel can be controlled. I was like you and used to think these people should be in jail for the rest of their lives but now I am not so sure. Most of these people have mental disorders and let me tell you prison is NOT the answer! If anything it’s making it worse! The abuse they suffer is.. well lets just say there are no words. I know most of you will say that they deserve it and your probably right but these are still someone’s husband, son, father, brother! The whole system is very sad. The prison system is awful!
CharleeFebruary 3rd, 2015 at 4:38 PM
It is proven fact that child molesters and pedophiles can not be rehabilitated!!! Stop wasting time and money on jail sentencing!! The only Real way to cure a pedophile and child molester is death. Line them up on the court house lawn and hang them all!!!
Nate d.March 6th, 2015 at 6:02 AM
You should be in prison for the rest of your life. It’s not about you. It’s about your victim and their family and the lives you ruined. You should be VERY ASHAMED of yourself. And don’t try to justify it by saying all people fight desires.
Lori hMarch 15th, 2015 at 9:47 AM
Can I report someone I know he is a child molester and I just found out he has a son can I report him because I don’t believe child molesters can be helped and should he be allowed to be around or his son or in his care not sure if the mother of his child knows his history on who he is thank you
Lori hMarch 15th, 2015 at 9:50 AM
This same loser raped me too I don’t think he can be helped
bernMarch 30th, 2015 at 5:18 PM
I think child molesters should be institutionalized for the rest of their lives. They cannot be helped. They should loose all their rights especially when they hurt and manipulate a child. They are grown adults that can seek help before they take advantage of a child they know about patient confidentiality they have no excuses. Being afraid of what society thinks of them is a useless excuse. Society will judge them a hell o a lot more of they take action on their impulses rather than seek help. Child molesters and pedophiles are all monsters.
KristieApril 25th, 2015 at 5:18 PM
Idk. But my mother left me with my grandmother which was her mother from the time I was 1 until the time I was thirteen. My Grandmother was a child molester she done a lot of evil things to me. She put her hands all in my private parts and the she touched me and I was so scared of her. She was very evil. I am a female and I am only attracted to men. When I got 14 I reported the molestation to my counselor and they got help for me I was able to go to a group home. I was scared of her so I told them my daddy was the guilty party because I think I trusted him and victims usually blame who they trust. Plus I did not want people to think I was gay because my grandmother looked inside my body everyday and told me to. She finally died in 2001 and God made a way for me to go see my dad and apologize to him for blaming him but I was scared of her not him.
BrittanyMay 22nd, 2015 at 8:33 PM
Hi Lori, I am sorry that happened to you, no one deserves that to happen to them. You are incredibly brave to stand up to keep other children safe yes anytime you suspect a child may be in danger, you may call your local child protective (or family) services If a person hurt a young person in the past, we want to prevent it happening again to another child. Be ready to provide information about the perpetrater and the victim (or potential victim).
BrittanyMay 22nd, 2015 at 8:40 PM
Based on information provided, the intake specialist/social worker will determine whether or not a case will be opened.
Hurt motherMay 24th, 2015 at 5:04 PM
I finally filed the report that my boyfriend molested my daughter. I still don’t know 100% for sure if it happened and I feel so guilty for reporting it and the fact that I can’t let him know I did so untill they do the investigation. Why do I feel this way? I love him so much but if he hurt my daughter why do I feel guilty for turning him in? Is there something wrong with me?
Hurt motherMay 24th, 2015 at 5:06 PM
I also don’t understand why I can’t stop hurting over the loss of our family (we have a daughter together as well)…. Help please
DianaJune 15th, 2015 at 2:27 AM
I guess you feel guilty because you never thought you’d be in this position before. But you are doing nothing wrong to wanna make sure your daughter is safe or not. Your children are always your first priority. Especially in this situation.
Besides, if your bf did nothing wrong, he shouldn’t worry. And WILL go on with the investigation! Trust me on this one. Don’t let him try to control you in to making you not continue with this investigation. Always listen to your guts as well. Better safe than sorry, no?
DianaJune 15th, 2015 at 4:13 AM
I know this is an old post but….for ME I would not want my family to accept my father back when he gets out of prison. If they take him back I’d feel very betrayed. Like they picked HIM over me! Idk what’s the real good answer on what is right or wrong but with us… I feel like he just really took us for granted. He was never a good father! Even if he never abused me, he was still a bad father with a bad temper! A bad father! A bad husband!! He failed us!
Im 27, and literally he took my whole childhood away. During all that time, he failed as a husband to take care of the family. For me, he should of worried about us before he did the stuff to me like that.
Since I’m the victim, I’m worried that I might end up seeing him. He has been locked up since I was 14. I think he gets out next year. I still have trouble telling him to stay away from us… I wrote two different letters to send him and I still have not… it’s harder than you think…but I think I finally made up my mind of what to write…
DianaJune 15th, 2015 at 4:27 AM
It’s ok… that’s how I feel with my dad.
I used to wish he would be raped by the people in prison. So he knew how I felt.
But now I don’t. I actually will forgive him…so he can peacefully be able to change, if he means what he says… all I know it’s between him and God. God is the only one that can really see how his heart is.
With me and my “dad”… we are not a family. I don’t see him as my dad… but I do sadly have this feeling of worry of him. Like when he gets out of prison. But after really thinking about it, he should be the one doing all the worrying. He should have thought of that before he did that to me. So why let that kind of responsibility with me? I do feel bad how he is gonna have a really hard time to get back to this world after prison. But I shouldn’t worry about that! I shouldn’t have to have him in my mind after all these years!! It’s not fair! He still tries to wanna be in our lives! He still sends us letters when we don’t reply.
It’s like he has the nerve to think we would just let him back in our lives! It’s like… don’t I matter? What about me?!! Why be so selfish?
Long post…just stuff I had to take off my chest…
ShandellJune 28th, 2015 at 6:07 PM
Well,My ex- husband was arrested in Aug. 2013 and sentenced on a lesser charge of indiscent behavior of a minor under the age of 13, in april 2015. my son was 8 at the time and was diagnosed with Autism at age 3. We r in couseling! Recovery is in the early stages. Our story is mind blowing! I’ve cycled thru many emotions. At first Hate and very ashamed to admit I even cared about the monster I once loved dearly. Now? I except his call’s from prison. at fist we wrote back and forth. Mostly for questions that needed answering. He is sorry now! NOW after getting 12 years hard labor. He has a chance 4 parol in Aug. 2017. My son is 10 now. He is happy his father is in prison and still has nightmares. Wonders if his dad will escape… Which brings me to the most difficult part. I still do not know how he truly feels or thinks about the whole story of his life. His Dad wants to recover and seek professional help. U see! Most people who do such evil things to a child was once done to them ata very young age. I uncovered some secrets that should not have been kept in his family. It’s all in the pattern of abuse, but not all who have been abused in such ways become the monster. Some like myself become the protectors which is why I felt shame in not being able to protect my children. He hid it very well. I am very proud of my son 4 coming forward about this. In some ways I am relieved. some ways I still miss the man I thought he was. I so want and prey that a pedifile can just stop being a pedifile. But how can u love with out trust is the big question. we r going to be in theropy 4 years to come. To NOT forgive only hurts one person. Yourself! Who know’s maybe I will write a book.
LycJuly 3rd, 2015 at 6:11 PM
saraJuly 14th, 2015 at 5:42 AM
After reading your story I felt I was reading about myself. My ex molested my daughter who was 6then. We just had our own baby who was 3mos when this happened. I fell deeply in love. I went thru the cycles of emotions also. Never saw it coming. He was good. I’ve lost so much trust. He got a life sentence. Found out later sexual abuse was going on in his own upbringing.but my first responsibility is safety for The children. He even taught the kids about bad touches. He was very smart in manipulating. With some I believe its a learned behavior. I don’t plan on seeking counceling with him. I need to preserve my own life. It was too devastating and hurt so deeply. I forgive but hard to trust again. I will never understand the attraction to children
jenniferJuly 18th, 2015 at 11:46 PM
Yes iam a mother with a son who is in jail right now on a child molestation charge but has not been indicted yet he also haves mental and psylochogal problems they just got my son sitting there he haves a public defender also no my son isn’t a child molester is just the way Georgia laws are if one is older then the other one I was reading this article and yes there are two diffreant kinds of people but my son doesn’t pray on younger people I just wish I knew what to do to help him out becz has a mother it would be diffreant if he like did something like most of these people have done to children but his story is complety diffreant then a lot of em he doesn’t even member doing anything I just wish people would tell me what is child molestion cmon now i just want my son to get help and not be locked away like no monkey or anything like that can someone help me please.
HeidiJuly 25th, 2015 at 10:50 PM
I was molested by my uncle when I was 4. Horrible life changing experience. Never fully talked about it with my family but everyone knew. I feel mossy terrible about not exposing him and stopping his addiction. I went through major periods of anger, shame, etc. But the worst was the obvious secrecy around my experience. I wish I was safe enough and encouraged to talk. I don’t believe at this point life imprisonment is the right solution. I think intervention, counseling, breaking the cycle is the only way to truly heal. As perpetrators and victims.
HeidiJuly 25th, 2015 at 10:53 PM
I use to feel that way too. But i don’t want to be that ugly. I want awareness. I hate hate
HeidiJuly 25th, 2015 at 10:54 PM
Thank you I agree
ShandellJuly 30th, 2015 at 7:53 PM
I’d like to ask an expert on this web sight. Can a person who’s been sexually abused as a baby. Beaten and traumatized by other family members while growing up, Just change? Stop being a pedofile? Locking people up and expecting them to just stop or change on their own is not the answer. Some couselors say if he really wants to change He will find a way. He admits what he did and goes into the reasons. He couldn’t stop himself he said, then felt remorse and guilt and to ashamed to seek help. He also did not want to end our marriage and if he opened his mouth he knew it would. I cut hair. Heard many stories and most go unreported. Something! some kind of intervention has got to happen. Another problem is we have found only one professional in our area that deals with this type of problem specifically and charges 150 a session. Not many options 4 help. I mean 4 him to be rehabilitated. Please respond! he wishes he’d come forward before he hurt our son. He feels a sense of freedom that it’s out on the open and not a secret anymore.
July 31st, 2015 at
Thank you for your comment! We do have a weekly column in which therapists answer readers’ questions, called Dear GoodTherapy.org. You might consider submitting your question to our panel of therapist writers through this channel. You can read more about this opportunity here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/dear-goodtherapy.html
Wishing you the very best,
The GoodTherapy.org Team
kymAugust 9th, 2015 at 2:34 PM
I agree! They need to have there hands cut of so there can never hurt another child again. I don’t understand how these sick creeps get out of prison and walk the streets.PLEASE we’ve got to protect our child and make very strict laws!!! So our children are safe.
LizSeptember 1st, 2015 at 8:51 AM
Well this story is a lil different,I have a sister we used to live together with our husbands and kids,one night my husband woke me up saying get up something is going on with your niece and your sister’s husband,well I got up and I went to my nieces room I asked her what was going onshe was crying. But she told me that her step dad touch her private,my sister ask hem to leave we didn’t make a report or anything,a week past and I thought my sister was going to do something and she didn’t that happend a sunday and by the next Saturday my sister was sleeping with hem again but in he’s house,well time past and then we find out she got pregnant from the same guy,my niece used to cry with me,or text me saying do something I don’t know what my mom is thinking and stuff like that so I felt so bad for my niece but still don’t do anything I was afraid to get my sister in trouble with CPS..well I went to a trip I took her kids with me including my niece of course,when we came back she already had the newborn baby and this guy living back at the house,my niece went to school and said everything to her counselor,when they told her that they can take the kids away from her mom she felt bad and said I forse her to do it when is not true,well she went back home,saw her mom crying and felt guilty now my sister ask her to go back to her counselor and say she lied about the child molester,my consern is I know now this guy smokes meth what should I do?
KatrinaSeptember 1st, 2015 at 2:02 PM
I just found out that my boyfriend molested his daughter 12 years ago. My thought was always hang them all, if you can hurt your own child that’s unacceptable. He was abused when he was a child. I told him especially then he should know better. I feel sorry for him because he grew up this way but I don’t understand why he would do that to his own child. I am angry at him and can’t look at him the same way. He is begging me to forgive him and that he has been working so hard to be a better person. I don’t know what to do. I feel for him but this is against my beliefs I don’t know if there is a way to get passed this is there?
shandellSeptember 2nd, 2015 at 8:16 PM
To Liz, A forensic interview will most likely happen. Specially trained people will gather evidence to prove if any indecent behavior was done to the child. U must file a report with the police or he will do it again. He must first be held accountable before he can move forward. Then rehabilitation. This will not be a gerauntee or a for sure fix. However this will help teach him a lesson he really needs. I will pray 4 ur family and all others who face this kind of sickness. Please make sure the children seek professional help to end the cycle of abuse. PLEASE find help for them at least.
Leave a Comment
By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use.
Search Our Blog
- don m: Hind sight is 20-20, wish I had been able to have the knowledge and insight that comes with living through the challenge of raising teens...
- Barb: What are your thoughts on adoption as trauma? I am the adoptive parent of three beautiful kids and it breaks my heart to witness their...
- Sherry: You need to know that actions have hurt a whole lot of people and that there will be a whole lot of work that has to be done to gain...
- dale: I had one child who breezed through it and I had another that I practically had to drag to school kicking and screaming. It can be a...
- annie: I have this tendency to shut down when I feel like I am being attacked and it is easy to feel that way with kids who are this age. The...