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The spectre of the paedophile

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Mark Easton | 16:19 UK time, Thursday, 26 June 2008

I remember as a cub reporter attending a committal hearing for a man accused of sexually abusing children. It was a shocking case and I raced back to the office ready to write it up. But the news editor took me aside and quietly explained that "paedophilia", a word I had never heard before, was not a suitable subject for the pages of his paper.

I do recall a sense of puzzlement that a crime with such appalling consequences for the victim should go unreported but I was junior and green. Some areas of life were simply taboo.

Today how different things are: we have Asda supermarket banning a picture of a baby's bottom as "nudity" and a think-tank complaining that routine criminal record checks on those working with children have made adults scared of interacting with kids.

The spectre of the predatory paedophile is everywhere. Last year a Downing Street survey listed a series of concerns and asked what worried people most. The top answer was "paedophiles on the internet". A separate poll found that eight out of 10 people wanted information on sex offenders who live in their neighbourhood.

So have we got our response to child sex abuse in proportion? Or, as the Civitas think-tank argues, are we in danger of destroying the very thing we aim to protect - a trusting relationship between adults and children?

A few years ago the NSPCC commissioned some extraordinary and detailed research to try and get a handle on the scale of child sex abuse in Britain. The findings have never been seriously disputed.

Sixteen percent of women and 7% of men surveyed said they'd been sexually abused involving physical contact before they were 12 years old. That's one in every nine pre-teen children. If non-contact sexual abuse such as exposure is included, the proportions rise to 21% and 11% respectively.

On this basis, literally millions of people in Britain have been victims of sex abuse as a child. Given the difficulties in gaining intimate and personal information from a self-report survey, these figures may themselves be underestimates.

Picture posed by a modelThe NSPCC estimates that at any one time, one million children are suffering sexual abuse.

If the findings are even close to reality, it must mean there are hundreds of thousands of people who have sexually abused children living in the UK right now. Home Office research backs up the estimate. It found that over 40 years the courts have convicted 110,000 child abusers. Most paedophiles, of course, never get caught.

But it is important in understanding our response to this huge problem, to know the relationship between the abuser and the abused.

The perpetrators are usually known and trusted individuals - a third themselves abused as young people. One in a hundred children will be abused by a parent or carer. One in nine by someone they know.

The analysis poses difficult questions in terms of the correct response. Were we to identify the abusers, the criminal justice system would be incapable of dealing with them. The courts and prison system would be overwhelmed.

The response that says "lock them all up and throw away the key" is simply impractical.
Increasingly, even the most hard-nosed professionals are suggesting we look to prevent abuse by offering paedophiles help and support to change their behaviour.

But the medical evidence for success is mixed. And public attitudes are likely to make such an approach controversial to say the least.

Child abuse is ubiquitous. Solutions all too scarce.


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  • 1. At 4:50pm on 26 Jun 2008, David wrote:

    It's difficult to maintain a reasoned debate in this area. The Civitas report makes interesting reading and should lead us to question the effectiveness of restrictions imposed - as in the Asda birthday cake incident - by organisations eager to be seen doing "the right thing": form and substance are the issues here.

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  • 2. At 5:11pm on 26 Jun 2008, Douglas Lee wrote:

    Mark Easton manages both to put his finger on the problem and to miss the point completely. Yes, there's widespread child abuse, and yes, it is usually perpetrated by someone already know to the child. But no, the current atmosphere of hysteria is not an appropriate reaction, and no, the Government, by pandering to that hysteria, is not responding in the right way. Our children need appropriate protection, not misdirected legislation.

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  • 3. At 5:13pm on 26 Jun 2008, stevemoxon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 5:15pm on 26 Jun 2008, TalkativeChap wrote:

    "The perpetrators are usually known and trusted individuals"

    This is where it goes wrong, parents seem to think that the average person walking down the street is a threat to their kids, they shout the government responds.

    The truth is the threat to most kids comes from within the family, not from the average person walking down the street. But it is the average person carrying the burden of the governments, local authorities and media hype.

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  • 5. At 5:16pm on 26 Jun 2008, n1ckyw wrote:

    I find your observation that it is simply impractical to imprison criminals rather crass. What you seem to be suggesting is that the criminal justice system should be built around the availability of prison spaces.

    Your suggestion that the best way to deal with paedos is to offer them help and support enrages me.

    Why do we live in a society where we put the offender in the centre of our criminal justice system and consider their needs first?

    What about the victims of the crimes?

    I was sexually abused by my scout master - he was convicted for sexually abusing me (over 100 times) and abusing 3 other boys. Thats over 400 sex crimes - he spent less than two years in prison for this - about one night for every two illegal sex acts.

    In the same way I would look at a woman and think - she is great looking, a paedo looks at a child and thinks deviant thoughts. I can't help the fact that I am straight and don't find men attractive - a paedo can't help the fact that (s)he finds children a turn-on.

    I honestly and genuinely believe that that prison should be a place for punishing criminals. Putting peodos away provides restorative justice to the victims and provides a safe society for us to bring up our own children. If it means increasing capacity in our prisons, then I'm prepared to pay for it.

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  • 6. At 5:16pm on 26 Jun 2008, Joan Olivares wrote:

    Honestly, I don't think you can reform child sex offenders because probably the majority of them were sexually abused at the same age as they abuse their victims. Child sex offenders are mentally ill. I think one thing we could do better is to get children to talk more about the pain they suffer from. If there were safe houses as widespread as Mc Donald's that children could walk into, I think you might be able to intervene earlier into a child's life. Children need to have their own "network" of resources that offer them help.

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  • 7. At 5:18pm on 26 Jun 2008, BigSean247 wrote:

    It is very sad, I had a conversation with one of my close friends the other day who has a lovely bubbly fun little daughter and he was worrying about whether he should stop having baths with her.. this is taking the fun out of parenting. Also i cannot comment pragmatically on the paedophile issue as I am a parent and will probably never think rationally about anything nasty happening to my child. paradoxically i.e I dont believe in the death penalty - but i would kill anyone who touch my child - go figure

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  • 8. At 5:23pm on 26 Jun 2008, sailorjimagain wrote:

    Perhaps a good way to start would be for those who seem to understand why certain adults are compelled to abuse the trust of helpless children, to explain to the public in general and to the formerly abused in particular. The explanation should not be couched in 'superior knowledge' terms but in terms that the ordinary person can understand. It would seem that the pundits have decided that removal is not the answer but that we should be persuaded to allow such people to share the freedoms and trusts that we all enjoy as non participants in these vile, evil practices.
    Are we being asked to accept that somehow, as if by magic, these incomplete 'beings' will learn from being accepted into society. Or are we once again being asked to pay for the 'fun' these creatures crave? No doubt this will not be published as it is sure to offend those who would apologise on behalf of mentally deficient individuals who subject defenceless children to untold horrors. One thing I am sure: the removal of a baby's bottom from and advert will not change anything. Come to think of it: how did the author of this piece get by the BBC censors?

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  • 9. At 5:34pm on 26 Jun 2008, sailorjimagain wrote:

    Stevemoxon: how can something be 'greatly less'? Is this a contradiction in terms? Incidentally; we're not discussing Inuit here and we really don't 'rub noses' when we meet nor do we live in igloos. I'll bet Inuit people who live in the big city and mix with non- Inuit people don't share their what you seem to describe as 'delights' with non- believers. The problem normal people or perhaps 'non-believers' have -including this correspondent - with people who abuse children is that such abusers are not acceptable in the majorities of societies. Perhaps the answer is to send all such abusers to the North Pole and let them form a new tribe. Incidentally I wonder how that noble race of Inuit people view you mentioning them in the 'same breath' as the 'creatures' we are talking about?

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  • 10. At 5:45pm on 26 Jun 2008, SpeakerToAnimals wrote:

    I don't think it helps, using the terms creatures, incomplete humans or whatever. Dehumanizing them just tries to get away from the fact that they are members of our society, in some cases those we trusted the most.

    We all know it is a terrible offense. Nor is it helpful to confuse those who may be inclined to commit such offenses with those who already have.

    Lock them up is one solution, but then you can only lock up those you can convict. In the long term, we need to look at WHY some people have these urges, and why some of those go on to act on them, and commit offenses. If there was some way of intervening, of stopping those with the inclination committing the offense, that surely would be a boon to society. Because the approbation of society and threat of conviction doesn't seem to do what we really want -- protect children from abuse.

    But if such an intervention was possible, those who need it (i.e., those who know what their inclinations are, but who haven't yet committed an offense) are certainly not going to seek help in the current climate.

    I also have to disagree most strongly with whoever said that such abuse has little if any serious psychological impact -- I know several people who were abused as children, they know differently. People can be very resilient, they can work past it, but the effort required is considerable.

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  • 11. At 5:56pm on 26 Jun 2008, dreklysoon wrote:

    surly the problem isthat there is no real fear of getting "caught" if repeated offenders were phisically castrated knowing that this would be the consequence of their appalling actions they could restrain themselves. I am totally sick of these human rights people who have too much power and don't consider the rights of those who have been attacked,or raped

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  • 12. At 5:57pm on 26 Jun 2008, n1ckyw wrote:

    'stevemoxon' makes no attempt to substantiate the claims that he makes with reference to the source research i.e. Journal articles. His evidence is thus at best hearsay.

    Sadly, there exists a 'paedo credo' that is used by people who are sexually attracted to children to justify their actions. The view of stevemoxon that it causes no harm is one of these credo's.

    If I had the time I would find the (many) well-researched journal articles that demonstrate his comment is unsubstantiated rubbish.

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  • 13. At 6:05pm on 26 Jun 2008, Tim wrote:

    n1ckyw- The idea that paedophiles are inherently evil and can't help themselves, so they should be locked up forever, is just plain wrong.

    This kind of OTT reaction to paedophiles is one of the things that drive them to such extraordinary lengths to prevent their crimes being discovered. If we could find a way to uncover all of the hundreds of thousands of abusers in this country, even if all they got was a slap on the wrist, think of the suffering that this would prevent.

    Until "ex-paedophile" becomes as common a phrase as "ex-convict", abusers will continue to go to any length to avoid receiving the indelible label "paedo": even some fairly well-considered posts on this blog use language that implies that abusers are less than human.

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  • 14. At 6:07pm on 26 Jun 2008, southterry wrote:

    Sexual abuse is a big issue in a victims life. The main problem we face is that some of these policies are being shot with blindfolds on. Police checks are fine, and I agree with them, but I disagree with the 'lock them away without a key' approach. what somebody like that has done is wrong, and punishment is appropriate, but some kind of rehab or cognitive behavioral therapy is appropriate. A person can stop themselves from committing a crime and damaging somebody else's life, but somebody who is mentally ill can have fantasies. The difference between 'unfortunately they have a problem with children' and 'they did something to a child' is what should make the difference in treatment. I wonder if there was a private, secure place to go, any pedophiles would go and get treatment before committing an offense?

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  • 15. At 6:15pm on 26 Jun 2008, visciousvic wrote:

    No, the current response is unhelpful. While the reality of such abuse should never be hidden, and those guilty should be punished and named, the current system is overkill.

    As a referee who referees adult football I am required to be CRB checked - I know that technically 16-18year olds could be playing and are covered by the legislation, but this is adult football. Further, I am also required to do a course which allegedly equips me to spot abuse when refereeing. But this is nonsense, partly because the course is useless and partly because I am there to referee a football match, not to be someones spy.

    In my church, if a new volunteer steps in to cover for ONE evening when other youth club helpers are away, and does nothing except watch the door, they are required to be CRB checked. I have an 86 year-old lady to CRB check as a result!

    THIS IS OVERKILL and it is literally killing both our participation in events as individuals, and also preventing us putting events on when nominal cover is required.

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  • 16. At 6:36pm on 26 Jun 2008, kickedoutof chatroomsoonestchamp2006 wrote:

    'The response that says "lock them all up and throw away the key" is simply impractical.'
    That arguement could be leveled against the prosecution of crime more generally.
    A more practical, effective and deterrent approach would be castration for all second offenders.
    Maybe someone would question the public to gauge their approval of such a scheme...?... Too much like democracy in action.

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  • 17. At 8:05pm on 26 Jun 2008, Jill wrote:

    This article has truly missed the point. Turn the fear culture around and you end up supporting adults who just want to talk to kids, play with them, stop them getting into trouble and generally look after them in general on a casual basis. Regular access to regular adults teaches kids what is 'normal': hence they can be better equipped to detect and report the 'odd'. Presuming all adults are guilty unless they take an intrusive (although sometimes perfunctory) test is just plain stupid. Commonsense needs to get back into this arena and that means removing the high level emotion that every individual case invokes. Look at the non-direct victims of paedophilia: how many kids have been deprived of high quality clubs and trips because adults cannot be found willing to do the job? How many young tearaways might have been stopped if adults dared to talk to them? The paedophilia 'risk' people need to balance their probabilities with others.

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  • 18. At 8:22pm on 26 Jun 2008, kevindub wrote:

    Thank you Mark for talking about the taboo, that is called "Paedophilia" why not call what it is Rape no more no less,
    The act of Rape should carry a Life term in prison, as a child I had to grow up knowing that the (man) who Raped me was going to get out of prison one day.
    I heard my mum talking about him to my Grandad, they were on about the "other thing" as they called it.
    It was like as if someone dipped me in ice cold water, he is getting out after 4 years in prison.I was told not to worry that he can't go near you.
    I was only seven when he started his dirty little secret,
    By the age of 9, I was on 2 sleeper's a nite, I selfharmed,I wet the bed, as for school well I was a slow learner they said.
    I saw Doctor's who said that I needed to be in hospital for a week or two, It lasted 1 and half years, that was my Prison and sometimes it still is,
    I have good and bad day's. I have a wife and two Little one's now.
    As for the (man) who Raped me, he went on to hurt some else, and killed himself why did they let him out, Do good'ers.
    He knew right from wrong, What about the Victims? Well now I can talk about it he's dead.He cant hurt me any more.
    We don't hide this in our house-hold children must be safe from (people)like this.
    They do know it is wrong that's why they want it a secret.

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  • 19. At 8:35pm on 26 Jun 2008, EnglishMohican wrote:

    I worry that we misuse statistics. Are we really saying here that a million children are being raped regularly in Britain? I find that very hard to believe.
    When I was a schoolboy, I had a teacher who would put his arm around me and tickle my ribs. I did not and do not think this is abuse to worry about - but I worry that many might today.
    My children were toddlers when those doctors up north (Higgs?) had 100s of children taken into care on a false diagnosis. I stopped helping bath my children in case somebody counted that as abuse and took my children away. When other people's children fall over outside on our road, I do not go to help in case their parents think I am harming the child.
    I think that people who rape children or hurt them seriously should be cured or punished hard - but the price of Mark Easton's statistics is high. We should be sure we understand them properly before we succeed in doing more damage than good.

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  • 20. At 8:42pm on 26 Jun 2008, dndleslie wrote:

    Mark Easton is wrong when he suggests that paedophilia WAS a taboo subject - it very much still is, and that is half the problem.

    Too many children are brought up in an over-protected family environment where often the dangers lie. Sex and the multitude of associated emotions and feelings that are attached to it, is still not spoken of openly and objectively between parents and children. Consequently, too many children are innocent and ignorant of the huge spectrum of human, sexual behaviour and are not in a position to deal with situations when they present themselves because "we don't talk about them". Surely we need to raise our children so that they have the best possible knowledge to protect themselves.

    As for "how many paedophiles are there out there?" Consider this. How would you describe the human condition of self-recognition of one's sexuality and sexual wishes? Is there such a person as a latent paedophile and if so should he be regarded as lock-upable?
    Where is the line drawn between thought and action?

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  • 21. At 8:43pm on 26 Jun 2008, denaria101 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 8:48pm on 26 Jun 2008, vagueofgodalming wrote:

    I don't pretend to understand how best to combat paedophilia. I am, however, certain that if Frank Furedi advocates something, then the opposite is the right way to go.

    The BBC really shouldn't be giving this man airtime.

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  • 23. At 8:54pm on 26 Jun 2008, mistySJ35 wrote:

    Paedophilia is best described as a type of sexuality that is a taboo in society. Therefore no matter what you do to them e.g. lock them up, castrate them, use cognitive behaviour therapy they are always going to be attracted to children.
    They will always put themselves in a position where they are trusted by others and in contact or near children. If caught they will argue that the child flirted or enticed them.
    The dangers are not highlighted enough, people have to step back and imagine themselves as a paedophile craving something that they cannot have . Then ask the question "Are my children safe?"
    It is easy to say that the majority of child abuse will occur in the family home but the predator at home will be surfing the Internet contributing to an industry of child porn and possibly 'grooming' other children that they come into contact with. It is also possible that the children that are abused become abusers themselves.

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  • 24. At 9:02pm on 26 Jun 2008, Jackie_Mist wrote:

    'The response that says "lock them all up and throw away the key" is simply impractical.'

    People have queried this, but it isn't about resources. All over the country mothers have to make agonising decisions. If they report the abuse, they lose the breadwinner.

    It shouldn't be about money, but a lot of women have found themselves and their children homeless and penniless after doing the "right thing".

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  • 25. At 9:18pm on 26 Jun 2008, Anaxim wrote:

    I agree with EnglishMohican about being careful with the statistics.

    The reason that the NSPCC figures have never been seriously disputed could be down to the climate of paedo-hysteria. Who'd dare put their neck out and be accused of downplaying the problem?

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  • 26. At 9:29pm on 26 Jun 2008, Salvo10 wrote:

    One commenter has said they find it hard to believe there could really be so many children being abused. I'm sure many people find it hard to believe - or don't want to believe - but it's true. Of the people I know who were abused as children, none reported it to the police for various reasons (mainly to do with shame and/or wanting to try and put it behind them). These crimes are not recorded in any statistics. So it goes for the vast majority of abuse. I would say you could take the current average yearly amount of reported incidents and comfortably multiply it by many many multiples to get close to a more accurate estimate of abuse cases.
    Incidentally, this also applies to adult rape. Of the people I know who have been raped (male and female) only two attacks were reported to the police and in both those cases, the individuals were told there was not enough evidence to proceed. Again, take the annual average number of rape convictions and multiply it over and over and then you'll be closer to the very uncomfortable truth.
    Child abusers and rapists thrive on the silence of their victims. While I understand absolutely how difficult it is to bring these things into the open, it is the only way to expose these disgusting criminals and stop them hurting more people. As well as punishing/rehabilitating offenders more effectively, we need to greatly improve the support provided to those coming forward to report abuse, whether adult or child.

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  • 27. At 9:30pm on 26 Jun 2008, shoutingAtTheRadio wrote:

    That'll be a report by the NSPCC marketing sub-contractor designed to illicit an increase in the NSPCC funding directly attributable to that marketing campaign and so gain that sub-contractor further work and riches then. As opposed to a scientific study properly controlled and statistically coherent then?

    Did you forget that charities these days are also businesses?

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  • 28. At 10:06pm on 26 Jun 2008, Deputy_Dawg_PJ wrote:

    Call me thick, but I don't understand how you can say "The perpetrators are usually known and trusted individuals" when you go on to mention that it is only 1 in 9 plus 1 in 100. That's still about 86% that are therefore not known and trusted individuals.

    Can this be clarified for my addled brain?

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  • 29. At 10:27pm on 26 Jun 2008, Edulike wrote:

    Surely the "protection from future abuses" angle is more important than the rights of the abuser and their rehabilitation. I know people who used to evaluate whether people were fit for release into society again. They told me that they sometimes had to release people into society that they would never let near their kids. Sexual abuse of childern is abhorrent. If people have done it then they should be kept away from the public until they are safe, and there are no reservations about them. The reoffending rate of child abusers is horrific, and the post release supervision a joke. The test should be "would I like them living near me and my children?" If the answer is no, wait until it is yes... Unpopular I am sure, but then you stop kids being abused, so I can take the unpopularity.

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  • 30. At 11:17pm on 26 Jun 2008, Martin Hollands wrote:

    When I was a lad back in the Sixties, I lived in a very small village, and we had a chap who was a regular "flasher" many people had sight of him at various times!!! but to say that the kids (like me) were effectively abused is just daft. He became a joke and we used to laugh at him. Was he a paedophile, I very much doubt it. The police knew him and watched him. By not making a big deal of this the kids talked openly about it amongst ourselves and our parents. There was no wholesale panic, unlike today.

    and before the PC brigade jump on the bandwagon about me not taking this seriously, I have a friend who was abused as a child, what she went through was horrendous and I would never want anyone else to suffer like it. But let's keep this in perspective please. People can see abuse and paedophilia in the most innocent things.

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  • 31. At 11:22pm on 26 Jun 2008, 9258710 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 11:27pm on 26 Jun 2008, victimofore wrote:

    Where to start with all of this...let's see. The supposed government and their agents (NSPCC and CAFCASS and Social Care and Health) constantly let children down. The fear in the media is hype- just that. Which has caused a disproportionate reaction in the public.

    For those not aware, in 1998/1999, apparently men could sign up to "purchase child abuse images" using a 56K dial up modem- and were doing it at the rate of 35/40 sign ups a minute!!! (from the same computer and modem) Wow that is some going!

    But don't worry Joe Public- you watched them break down the doors of these evil, sick, twisted paedos on TV- great! And then those men were bullied and threated to plead guilty- by SS and a desperate CPS. (they had to justify Gamble's income some how and the D list of gov't officials) But don't worry, public- a list of fraud has created 4K more registered sex offenders in the UK in the last 5 years.

    You and yours sleep well.

    Victim of an illegal witchhunt to justify sensationalism and gov't budgets

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  • 33. At 11:37pm on 26 Jun 2008, 9258710 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 34. At 11:49pm on 26 Jun 2008, Barnaby101 wrote:

    Doesn't the fact that many people recall having been "abused" as children suggest that meeting a paedophile it may not be such a terrible thing? If it were wouldn't there be more damaged adults around. It is time for us survivors to put their hands up. I had "experiences" with two different men when I was a child. One of them did "groom" me and try to touch me. But it was OK. He wasn't a bad man. He just wanted something I did now want. I had similar but much nastier experiences when I was a teenager with men my own age.
    I honestly feel that my experiences as a "victim" of paedophilia did not harm me at all. And yet I do feel that my daughter missed out - and may even have been a little damaged - because when she was aged 6 to 12 she didn't have the same kind of freedom to play outside and be independent as I had at that age. The fear of "strange men" seemed to pervade the neighbourhood and yet there had never been a single incident to my knowledge.

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  • 35. At 00:34am on 27 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 00:43am on 27 Jun 2008, Barista wrote:

    Having worked in psychiatry for many years the most disturbing factor in paedophilia activity was that the victims (and there are many who are not counted in statistics believe me) always told someone and asked for help. Might have been a parent, relative, teacher, police etc, what seemed to be almost worse than their abuse was the betrayal by many who should have protected them.
    Unfortunately, many were paid professionals such as GPs and teachers. What kind of a world do we live in when adults will not protect a child. Although many persons are very damaged by their experiences please please stop saying some of you that they go on to abuse others. The majority do not.
    Also to say that someone is mentally ill is not a fact either. They just have an interest that does not follow the norm. and perhaps to be generous they basically have a bent brain. Unfortunately that does not help those they abuse and threaten into silence with only a once or twice request for help, that is rarely answered.
    If you want to stamp this behaviour out do your damn duty and respond. Very few are liars as so many idiots suggest. Men in particular will not reveal anything until they have absolute trust in someone and suffer addictions, depressions, suicides it goes on. How can we allow these people to keep on damaging our young people.
    Lock them up and as already stated by another blogger, if a place is required to house them do it. The punishment must fit the crime. How much is this costing us as a nation. The social care issues that result, mental health costs, unemployable people due to their mental health issues and broken marriages and homes.
    The internet has also brought more and more paedophiles into being I am sure that is without doubt. Many who would never have got involved, but now it is there.
    You can find someone who owes money and most certainly a robber of money and imprison them, but when it is awful action towards another human being, a child or vulnerable person, then it is quite all right. To finish my blog, the worst thing that can happen to someone is to be taken into CARE by 'The State' because that is where the most abuse has been perpetrated through it being used as a delightful club for those who wish to abuse. Those children are stigmatised and are not really cared for at all. Those who are supposed to care for them just see them as a nuisance!

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  • 37. At 01:00am on 27 Jun 2008, Barista wrote:

    Re: Illegal Witchhunt
    There have been innocent persons who have been investigated on Operation Swallow. They have been arrested publicly (in front of their neighbours etc) and their computers taken.
    There were thousands of cases to be looked at and investigated. Many were found to be totally innocent with no downloading of dubious material taking place. In fact these innocent individuals credit cards had been cloned to hide paedo activity perpetrated by others.
    I do deplore the fact that there has been no public announcement locally for those persons who were totally innocent when by their very arrest would have become public knowledge very quickly.
    This was only reported as being so in one small column in a national newspaper and not much help to those who's life has been damaged by implication.

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  • 38. At 01:48am on 27 Jun 2008, hubertgrove wrote:

    What do you mean:

    'The response that says "lock them all up and throw away the key" is simply impractical.'

    Who says so? Do you mean that it will cost too much? That we don't have enough jail space? That we shouldn't be jailing these people but 'treating them'?

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  • 39. At 01:57am on 27 Jun 2008, 9258710 wrote:

    The punishment would be disproportionate to the crime.

    Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield.

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  • 40. At 02:07am on 27 Jun 2008, TanyaHannington wrote:

    Society has a habit of blowing things out of proportion and then missing the point completely.

    Covering up our children and hiding our bodies isn't the way to deal with Pedophiles, understanding them and coming up with better ways to deal with them before they commit crimes would be more productive.

    If... and only if a case can be proven, (very rare) the end result is a spell in prison.

    Sadly, the child becomes the victim again as they have to go through all the police questioning to prove they are telling the truth; and that in itself can have serious psychological effects.

    Often, after all the questioning and being subjected to talking about the crimes to complete strangers, no charges are bought against the criminal because the case is maybe too old, or the evidence is not sufficient.

    Short of getting the pedophile to walk into a police station and hand himself/herself in, these cases are pretty damn hard to prove.

    And who in their right mind is going to walk into a police station and say "I'm a pedophile, please lock me up in a prison" a prison where they are most likely to be subjected to more violence than other offenders because of the nature of their crime?

    There are no hard and fast answers on how to deal with these criminals of this type of crime.

    Talking within the family unit is a good start for building trust and understanding. Children should be encouraged not to be afraid to say what is on their minds, they should never be encouraged to "Keep a Secret" and should be made aware that they can come to either one of their parents or any other family member and talk about a secret they have been told to keep. Secrets are bad!

    Maybe prison isn't the answer. People that might otherwise get help don't want to admit they have a problem if they think that they are going to end up in prison. I am not saying de-criminalise it at all, but maybe a psychiatric unit of some kind would work better; it is, after-all, a sickness of the mind.

    Maybe legalising prostitution would enable some to relieve sexual frustrations that may cause some abuse.

    Clinics and help groups could work to help people admit they have a problem before they commit a crime.

    Maybe a better understanding of what signs to look for within ourselves would be a good thing to know, so that before any of us find ourselves committing the crime, we have had a chance to get possible help, even if we are not pedophiles, being able to go somewhere and openly discuss our fears could prevent those of us that are, from going on to commit the crime.

    Sadly, I feel that society as it is constructed, does very little to prevent this crime, very little to bring offenders to justice and very little to educate people on who pedophiles really are... Very often.. more than you would like to think... it is not the stranger down the road, but the stranger next to you, in your bed!

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  • 41. At 05:46am on 27 Jun 2008, Barnaby101 wrote:

    Barista, I think your comment (number 36) is very sane and demonstrates knowledge and experience. I hope that you are or will become someone who can influence policy on the matter of paedophiles.
    I would be interested in your views on whether you think some girls unconsciously begin to behave in a provocative way as a result of watching the dancing and acting that they see again and again on MTV and the like.

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  • 42. At 06:03am on 27 Jun 2008, treefernkate wrote:

    Mark, you're missing something here. You extrapolate from the huge rate of abuse figures to assume there's an unmanageably large number of perpetrators. But of course, each perpetrator will generally abuse many children. If the average perpetrator abuses 10 children over the course of their lifetimes... surely an underestimate rather than an overestimate ... you need to divide the number of victims by 10 to get an estimate of the number of perpetrators.
    I don't believe the number of perpetrators is unmanageable; you present no evidence that this is the case.

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  • 43. At 06:28am on 27 Jun 2008, MorrisEight wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 44. At 07:36am on 27 Jun 2008, kickedoutof chatroomsoonestchamp2006 wrote:

    'The punishment would be disproportionate to the crime.

    Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield.'

    Does Dr Oldfield work with paedeophiles and feels he should advocate for them?
    Yes, punishment should be proportionate. If he has, as I have, worked with their victims - who often suffer the consequences for life - he may like to consider what is proportionate. Punishment is most valuable as a deterrent. Physical (not pharmacological) castration would be a cheap, proportionate, and deterrent peanalty that would very likely be effective in prevention of further abuse. It may not be politically correct, however - like most things most people approve of.

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  • 45. At 07:49am on 27 Jun 2008, kickedoutof chatroomsoonestchamp2006 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 09:17am on 27 Jun 2008, victimofore wrote:

    Let us clarify a few points here:

    The NSPCC- I did a FOI on this "charity". How much of their income goes on the heart wretching tv adverts? 78%- yes 78%.

    When asked how many REAL children have been 'saved' from abuse by the NSCPP in the last financial year- "erm, none. We consider advertising the problem to be child protection."

    Another poster meantioned Op Swallow. Well, here is how Operation Ore worked. Get to court- confronted by CPS and Social Services- "Plead guilty or we will make sure you never see your children again- you have one minute to decide." What would you do? I even know of cases where people were pressganged into pleading guilty to images of 30 year old women- and could prove the ages. And don't forget the burden of proof was reversed- plod and CSP didn't have to prove you broke the law- you had to prove you didn't.

    (This is of course after having your house raided at 7:02 am because 'supposedly' your name was found on some USA database almost ten years ago, then waiting 18-30 months on bail, your employers being told, you neighbors being told, your children's schools being told- yes, all of this was done at the allegation stage- and more)

    But no matter- Police and CPS got their easy bust and congrats for finding another criminal, the media got their story about another person placed on the SOR, and the public thought "hey, great that's another disgusting perverted paedophile dealt with and outted."

    This then gives some jumped up Irish copper the chance to say, "every one of the images is of a child being abused" Hmm. Yes, here are real examples of these 'abuse' images:
    *the 30 year old above
    *a photo of your baby having his/her first bath at home
    *your 9 year old in a bikini on the beach leaning towards the camera blowing a kiss
    *images from the 1980's of topless models from a particular set of newspapers- they were 16/17 when pics taken- that is child abuse

    (we will put aside the "evidence" of perversion from a computer's search history such as "asian" "cheerleader" "star trek"- yep, the police, cps, and social services all believed these searches in a computer's history was evidence of illegal activity)

    The British were warned by the USA authorities that this list of names and credit cards was dubious- that is why they only arrested 100 people. But no, the British thought they were smarter- they went after 7200 people.

    But hey, it's alright- It was all done in the name of child protection and stopping children being abused.

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  • 47. At 12:38pm on 27 Jun 2008, TAtherapist wrote:

    I am a male psychotherapist specialising in working with children who have disclosed abuse, and with adult survivors of abuse. I have eleven years experience and oversee a team of counsellors and therapists providing more than a thousand sessions each year and about 10% of our clients disclose abuse, physical as well as sexual.

    Like the man who volunteered to work at a primary school I am routinely questioned and suspected by school staff. When I am interviewing male counsellors I always ask them, "if you saw a distressed small boy in a supermarket would you offer to help the child?" In six years not one has said 'yes'. These are trained child counsellors. When I ask "why" the answer is "the women will think that I am a paedophile". I think this is the most subtle and the most damaging of prejudices in our society: that every male is viewed as a potential predator.

    The fact that most children are abused by their own family, or close family friends seems to never be mentioned. Is it too frightening a question to ask "how come our children are not safe in their own homes?", so we project the threat onto 'strangers' and so justify intruding into the privacy of those working to help the children - because an Enhanced Disclosure required by a counsellor is a major intrusion into privacy.

    The CRB checks are, to my mind, the ultimate example of "locking the door after the horse has bolted" since it only tells you that someone HAS abused children, not that they are SAFE with children, as with Ian Huntley. Also, as the check has to be carried out for every separate venue (so if you go to three schools you need three CRB checks) we spend a small fortune checking the same people over and over, spending money which would better used on actually helping the children.

    Counselling and psychotherapy are by definition provided in the context of a confidential relationship - in children's language, "it's private". That 'privacy' is often essential as the children often feel let down and confused by the adults already involved. The unthinking blanket policy of not providing a private space in schools actually prevents us from working with distressed children and the culture of suspicion deters individuals and organisations from working with children. In this major city we are the only organisation willing to take on the burden of working one-to-one with under 16's.

    Add to all of that an adversarial criminal justice system where I routinely hear from children that the experience of going to court has been more traumatic that the original abuse, and only a minority get a conviction.

    I think that the courts and the government have completely lost the plot on keeping children safe and happy. Too many of the processes and procedures are actually counterproductive, depriving children of the justice, the help and the support that they need, whilst adults chase shadows and ignore what is under their noses.

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  • 48. At 12:55pm on 27 Jun 2008, asitisgirl wrote:

    It makes my skin crawl to think that after comitting such acts and being convicited of any sexual attack the prisoner is then protected by the state from the wrath of hatred that surely they should be expose to . Face to face with the possible parent of their next victim , I'd like to see that .

    Segregation in jail should not be allowed to continue , as soon as you violate the human right of another the human rights of the prisioner should be removed . No longer protected by the state. To me these criminals are protectd by the state , for what reason I do not know , perhaps their networks spread far and wide who knows.

    Who actually legislates for this and a letter to your local mp should be the first thing you do after reading this.

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  • 49. At 1:04pm on 27 Jun 2008, Jenlewis wrote:

    How would castration actually prevent these offences from happening again? There are degrees (I suppose) of physical abuse, some aspects of which would not be prevented by castration.

    Also, just a question, but are we saying that victims who then become abusers lose their status as victims? Do they go from being the innocent victim of crime into 'evil creatures' who no longer need help or support? Just through away the key - another dud human being.

    I am not necessary 'supporting' a leniency for offenders, I am just saying that every murderer, rapist etc came from somewhere and maybe if instead of jumping up and down and burning down houses we could find out what happened to those people to make them behave like that, maybe we could use that information to try and prevent it happening again - oh yes, its called reforming - not just those individual offenders, but an often sick and shameful society at large.

    Before you suggest that some people are just born evil/sick - that does not help at all - these people were children once (no doubt overlooked to some extent) and by saying they are 'evil' it is creating a good excuse to 'other' them and make them less responsible for their actions, for whilst I am saying that they may have past experiences which influence their 'choices', they are not 'evil' or beyond human control and they have to take responibility for what they themselves have done.

    This is a difficult topic, highly emotionally charged and therefore it is often impossible to deal with it rationally.

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  • 50. At 1:41pm on 27 Jun 2008, 9258710 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 51. At 3:07pm on 27 Jun 2008, dragonflyintltherapy wrote:

    I am a counsellor and specialize in treating children and adults with histories of sexual abuse, assault, and other forms of abuse. I'm glad that this article encourages us to evaluate the astronomical statistics. I also believe the statistics are underestimated, especially as they are based solely on those who have disclosed.

    Nevertheless, the problem is that we don’t know statistics. We only know people. You would truly know, and you could feel that statistic, if it was your child, your friend, your sister, your brother, your father, your mother. Even you.

    A client recently told me the analogy that disclosing an abuse history is like being the town crier. You have a tragic announcement to make, to call out, but the message is ugly, painful, and shocking. Lets face it. Who really wants to hear that their family and friends are more likely abuse their child than strangers? At the same time, who wants to be the one to have to sit with that secret?

    So, when I think about what can be “done” about this epidemic, and I truly believe that it is, I believe that that we all can have an impact. I have so many clients who weren't heard; this can be traumatic, and threatened their sense of emotional safety, in and of itself. With this in mind, prevention is key. Nevertheless, we can't forget that it is also our responsibility to avoid re-victimizing our children.

    The reality is that no matter what the larger systems choose to do with the perpetrator, it also begins with believing the child in the first place. We must support them and give them a safe space to disclose. That is how their voices can be heard; that is where change can also begin.

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  • 52. At 3:09pm on 27 Jun 2008, JohnL wrote:

    Each offence is deeply damaging to the victim and may scar them for life. But most cases of sexual abuse conducted by family members, so only a minority of offences are by unknown parties.

    The '1 in 9' is also misinterpreted. It does not mean that 1 in 9 adults is a pedophile - many cases are carried out by the same serial offender. I suspect that the actual number of active adult pedophiles at any one time is very small - maybe a lot less than 1%.

    We are enacting legislation and systems that harm trust and cohesiveness of society based more on tabloid outrage than knowledge. A little less hysteria please and more common sense.

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  • 53. At 3:16pm on 27 Jun 2008, nzlawtongrn wrote:

    Although not a solution per se perhaps it would be helpful in the UK to change the pornography laws on "indecency" to something prescriptive rather than the rather subjective and archaic definition of indecent as something "offending against the recognised standards of propriety". The US legal system follows a rather more prescriptive guideline.

    At least then the law enforcement and judicial bodies could focus their severely constrained resources rather than wasting them on, as in the recent past, complaints against a newsreader's bath time photographs of her child and a musician's private art collection.

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  • 54. At 4:48pm on 27 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    Dr Oldfield's name crops up all over the internet whenever paedophilia is mentioned. He actively seeks to 'redefine' the criteria that society uses to identify child sexual abuse, and makes no secret of his aims.

    He also has a conviction from an American court for possession of 11,000 indecent images of children.

    Oldfield was arrested in August 2002 when he was caught taking pictures of children at a shopping mall, and police then discovered the images on his computor.
    He served eight months for possession of the images and since his release has become an a crusader for pedophilia under the cloak free speech.

    There are other people responding to this topic that are also suspected of being sympathetic to the cause of paedophilia.

    The tactic used by sympathisers is to 'sound responsible' and then 'discredit' the research.
    The research is consistent, and as accurate as it can possibly be.
    I work for an organization that provides therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and we have collated FACTS for over 10 years. They speak for themselves.

    My previous post exposing Oldfield was not allowed through moderation.

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  • 55. At 5:50pm on 27 Jun 2008, victimofore wrote:

    Would you care to enlighten people as to your statement:

    There are other people responding to this topic that are also suspected of being sympathetic to the cause of paedophilia.

    I would be interested to know whom these people are.

    To return to the original thread....

    The Civitas Report issued yesterday has highlighted the hysteria surrounding child protection issues in the UK- strongly promoted by the media.

    The reality is, if you read the responses of the majority in a variety of web discussions, men ARE being demonised about contact with children.- Afraid to help lost children in a town centre, jump in to stop them drowning, teach in schools, volunteer with youth clubs and sporting activities. The number stating that any interest in the welfare and nurturing of young people is automatically deemed "creepy" "sick" "perverted". The media has applied the term "perverted paedophile" so much the label is sticking to men even where it is not appropriate, warranted, or applicable.

    Is our hysteria actually damaging to our children?

    My comments regarding the NSPCC are directly based on an FOI I did because I saw lots of adverts and fund raising but couldn't actually find anything about REAL work with REAL abused children. Similarly, when I did the same with NCH, I also found a distinct lack of this type of work.

    Of course all forms of abuse of children is wrong and only someone with either ice for blood or a complete lack of empathy would disagree. But shouldn't we be concentrating our efforts on working with these real children? (sometimes the scars from verbal or emotional abuse last longer than the physical ones) Stop these witch hunts and the vilification of men. Let's return to some sense. All I see in these hysterics is families and communities fragmented.

    Oh, and yes, I am a woman. And a mother. And a wife. And extremely opinionated!

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  • 56. At 5:57pm on 27 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    So far I've had two posts stopped by the moderators for trying to expose the activities of one particular poster ( I won't mention names in an effort to get this information posted )

    I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who now works towards helping other survivors.
    Over the last 10 years I have followed the activities of many 'apologists' for paedophilia.

    Some are now active in the replies to the original article, one in particular makes no attempt to hide his activity, but is more discreet about the conviction and prison sentence he recieved for being in possession of 11,000 indecent images of children.

    These people are active on virtually every internet blog, discussion and web site where paedophilia is mentioned.
    Their aim is to gloss over the facts and present a factual sounding counterpoint to the facts that have been carefully collated by various organizations around the world and show little variation. The facts are good.

    Please read the posted comments with care and an open mind.

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  • 57. At 5:59pm on 27 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    I posted my last comment while thinking that my previous comment had been stopped by the moderators, which it had not.

    I apologise for any misunderstanding and repetition.

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  • 58. At 6:45pm on 27 Jun 2008, Northumbrian wrote:

    I am concerned about those cases where the abuser was themselves still a child. Say that a 13-year old has been abused within the family and is now abusing younger siblings. In such a case it is surely wrong just to say, "they should no longer be treated as victims," as some here would seem to think.

    If you leave such a child within the family, then their very presence may be a source of trauma to younger siblings. Put them into care, and a 13-year old with sexual experience is both a target for abuse from staff and others, and a risk to those with whom they share accommodation.

    The knee-jerk reaction to child abusers of, "castrate them, imprison them and throw away the key," is wholly wrong in such cases. Do you have to write off the whole life of such a child? Or can you "rescue" a 13-year old and try to help them regain an acceptable way of interacting with other people?

    The only thing I am sure of is that branding anyone, no matter how young, as "paedophile" and insisting that the same remedies apply in all cases, cannot be humane, or even effective in reducing the damage done to all.

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  • 59. At 6:57pm on 27 Jun 2008, EnglishMohican wrote:

    MudPlugga wrote:- There are other people responding to this topic that are also suspected of being sympathetic to the cause of paedophilia.

    Do you mean me? This smear amounts to a threat - speak against MudPlugga's view and you will be considered a paedophile.

    And what does MudPlugga then do - makes a series of statements that say nothing. Research that is consistent can be consistently wrong. "Accurate as possible" is like a sale sign "up to 50% off". Facts that speak for themselves - maybe but there are none here to say anything.

    And the emotive language - "survivors" - why not just say "people who were abused as a child".

    Yes - some children are seriously abused and I will help you hang those abusers.

    But stop following policies that spoil life for the innocent- both children and adults. Use a sniper's rifle - not a scatter gun. Stop using statistics without the detail needed to get meaning out of them, If you have facts - give me facts - but don't ask me to respond to meaningless spin.

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  • 60. At 7:46pm on 27 Jun 2008, 9258710 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 61. At 00:02am on 28 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    I can fill pages with statistics, gained from years of dealing with survivors - victims - call us what you will.

    The statistics are as good as any statistics on any subject, people make of them what they can.
    But having said that I work for an organisation that has collected accurate statistics from helping the abused for over ten years. We have been scrupulous in the consistency of gatering that data, and it matches the data gathered from other organisations, from charities such as the one I work for to the World Health Organization. Can we all, from different countries and cultures be that wrong?

    I'm not going to get into the minutae of arguing those statistics, if you want to see them for yourself go and Google.

    I have stated that I suspect people other than Dr Oldfield that are apologists for paedophiles. I will freely admit that I have no firm evidence that would allow me to identify them, and as such I will not imply that EnglishMohican is one of those people.
    I will say that you are NOT one of the people I suspect.
    Dr Oldfield is like a rash all over the internet, he pushes his agenda freely under his own name.

    There are responders to this topic like 'victimofore' who say that we as a society are in danger of demonising men ( in particular ) as pedo's, and in the process scaring good people away from the normal interactions with children that we should value.
    I agree 100%, but please don't lose sight of the good work, progress and rights that survivors have fought for, they have been a long time coming and we still battle with the notion that "boys can't possibly be abused" and "she was asking for it". This kind of false justification is still coming from the mouths of perpetrators and the ill informed.

    Society has in recent years recognised that people who have been raped and abused as children often become adults with problems. The levels of sexual and physical abuse in childhood amongst prisoners is horrific, 76% is the figure we have from our work in the prisons.
    Everyone who works in this field realises that not every abused person ends up in prison, or indeed becomes an abuser themselves, of the 76% there is a percentage that are in prison for reasons other than the behavioural and traumatic effects that abuse can have in adulthood.

    But take that percentage away from the 76% and you end up with people like me who spent much of our early adult lives living dysfunctionally but somehow avoiding trouble.
    Is it a coincidence that I and so many other survivors turn our lives around after therapy targeted at, and modelled for, survivors?
    I don't think so.

    Over the last ten years I have campaigned for better recognition of male survivors, and I am proud of my modest success in that area.
    During that time I have had cause to research the "apologists" and the evidence points towards a concerted and coordinated campaign to make sexual acts between children and adults acceptable, and it's happening on this topic.

    One of the arguments the pro paedophilia camp make is that "children are sexual"
    I agree.
    When I was a kid I played "doctors and nurses" with a girl I went to school with, and like many boys I experimented with mutual masturbation.
    None of this featured in my therapy because it was "normal growing up" and there's nothing wrong with that.
    The focus of my therapy was the fact I was raped by a teacher, and when I told the headmaster at the boarding school he didn't believe me. So i was the teachers "boy" for the next four years.

    That had very little to do with sex, it was much more about power and control. Sex was the weapon.
    The injury from that weapon lives on, I'm 56 now and still suffer effects directly attributable to that sexual abuse.

    There's a world of difference between the normal sexual experiments between kids growing up and sex between kids and adults.
    We owe every child the chance to not have to live with the consequences of childhood sexual abuse.

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  • 62. At 5:37pm on 28 Jun 2008, victimofore wrote:

    May I ask Mud... why do you not consider the work of Kilby or Ray Wyre or Angela Carr?

    There is no doubt that some people who have suffered abuse as a child, go on to develop serious emotional and mental scars. Of that I have little doubt. However, my EXPERIENCE, education, insight and research show that if the issue is dealth with quickly and early, those scars can be minimised.

    But I am disturbed by one of your statements: "like many boys I experimented with mutual masturbation" Ok but that statement with no specific info is a worry to me. Just at what age where you doing this? And you are not specific about whether it was with boys or girls. (your doctors and nurses reference is separate)

    You leave far too many questions unanswered and leave far too many questions to be asked.

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  • 63. At 7:41pm on 28 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    Ray Wyre does some superb work, Angela Carr I have a little knowledge of and I find her work interesting.
    Kilby is a name I'm unfamiliar with.

    You rightly say "However, my EXPERIENCE, education, insight and research show that if the issue is dealth with quickly and early, those scars can be minimised."
    Which is my experience as well, but so often, despite the raised awareness that we have today, we are seeing people that don't disclose and seek help until adulthood.
    By then behaviours etc can become ingrained and more difficult to change, we use CBT with good results but often the survivor is deeply into a dysfunctional lifestyle of depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, failed relationships and the list goes on.
    Those problems and scars are particularly hard to erase, and although the old cliche that 'time is a great healer' does have a lot of truth in it time does not erase bad memories on it's own.
    One of the most commonly used tactics of an abuser is to instill fear upon the victim by use of the old "this is our little secret, and ( something terrible ) will happen if you betray it. And people won't believe you anyway" trick.
    The surprise to people who have no experience of abuse survviors is that perfectly ordinary and intelligent people will hold that secret for many years. It's not uncommon for us to deal with people who have carried their secret for over 30 years.
    Catch the abused early and life becomes easier, that much is true, but we can't drag them through the doors into support or therapy until they are ready to come.

    The "mutual masturbation" statement is just describing the common enough, and usually one off, experiment that a lot of boys do, generally at the onset of puberty - early teens. It's something that not every boy does.
    Importantly it's NOT abuse because it's 'mutual' and between boys, nearly always good mates, of very similar age.

    Sexual abuse has a huge element of 'abuse of power' with sex as the tool or weapon of that abuse.
    If someone uses unequal power or influence to take advantage over someone for sexual motives then that's abuse.

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  • 64. At 8:45pm on 28 Jun 2008, victimofore wrote:

    So Mud (your name is appropriate) you are muddying the water.

    This thread is in essence about a report which is questioning the hysteria around "a paedo on every corner"- Has the public been "brain washed" into this fear, hysteria and is it warranted? The report concludes it is not warranted. I have provided further examples (some personal) of the hysteria and how it has been put in the public arena via manipulation. (I do even believe I have been bold enough to make the owner's of this site accountable for this manipulation in the past)

    You obviously don't keep with the news, as you would be aware that Ray Wyre died 8 days ago and may he RIP (genuinely)

    Your argument about abuse is deeply flawed from both a male and female point of view. Indeed for there to be csa there is an imbalance of power. Your "it's our little secret" is a myth. (Unless you are admitting that every other adult around the child is completely incompetent, oblivious, unable to recognise boundaries, and unable to teach a child right and wrong)

    Also, time compounds the impact- in other words, the 'survivor' - your word- is using something insignifant in life, building it up in their heads, and using the 'abuse excuse'. (I am not referring to those awful and thankfully rare cases of chronic abuse- I have my own views on managment of the perps)

    Again this thread is about whether the public have been whipped to a frenzy over something that doesn't exist in reality. I say yes it has- I have used examples of the hype and mistruths and misleading reports of the media and the lack of public knowledge of the public regarding actual academic research. You seem to want to insist we should believe the media and basically ban every man from contact with children. I think societially, that is dangerous. That is part of the point of the thread "are we unreasonably vilifying men?"
    I say yes we are.

    I could give lots of personal examples that might fit your "child abuse" profiles. But I won't- Because this thread is not about me and it is not about you.

    PS The only cases I have heard of "one off mutual masturbation" between two boys are where teenagers were exploring sexuality. I don't condemn it but do point out, all of them admitted they enjoyed themselves and positively affected their sexuality. So if you claim "you were the teacher's favourite boy"- hmm, then maybe you are protesting to much against yourself.

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  • 65. At 10:06pm on 28 Jun 2008, Mudplugga wrote:

    I think you're agenda and mine are never destined to meet, so I'm outta here.
    Thanks for an interesting discussion.

    I didn't know Ray Wyre personally, I'm sure he will be missed.


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  • 66. At 11:37pm on 28 Jun 2008, poshCrescentmoon wrote:

    I don't think that being sexually abused as a child gives anyone the excuse to practice this abuse on someone else later on in life. We have become far too tolerant about all sorts of crimes and this one is the ghastliest of all. What we really need is a complete review of all punishment systems with naming and shaming, physically hard work to improve our environment (not a luxurious prison cell) and as for paedophiles we really need to have some kind of deterant - like castration. There really isn't any harm in being tough on criminals. If we had punishments to fit the crimes then we would see a dramatic change in our society. I would like to see public parks with lights in the trees on a summer night with hot dogs and ice creams being sold to happy families instead of "closing time at sunset".

    Also a very important point is that those whom we elect to make and change laws should be fully vetted themselves. I do believe that there are quite a few respected leaders whose domestic lives leave a lot to be desired. Wouldn't it be nice if a MARRIED couple with children were the norm? What 'they' want to make 'normal' is the unnatural behaviour they advocate through leaflets in school, horrible soaps on telly and other media.

    We need to wake up. Divide and rule has been on the agenda for many years. Society is being ruined by allowing people to get away with it. If we divide families we divide society and therefore the country.

    We should NOT allow our children to wear 'sexy' clothing. We should encourage them to be what they are - children. We should NOT tolerate what we see on our screens or in the media. No matter if it is politically incorrect we should SHOUT about it if we feel uncomfortable about the behaviour of sexual deviants openly being lewd in public while we are afraid to do something as normal as hug a child!!

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  • 67. At 2:32pm on 29 Jun 2008, iaccuse wrote:

    So much is discussed about child protection i for one support child protection and always will. However i was investigated over an allegation of being in possession of indecent images.The result was that at Crown court i was convicted of being in possesion of 8 images of a Seventeeen year old. I was told if i had been in a relationship with the young woman in the pictures there would have been no case to answer, but because i was not they were classed as indecent. This amendment to the law was brought in by David Blunkett in 2004 with to bugles or trumpets blaring. What a fine upstanding member of the community to lecture us on morals. An what a sham of a law that says it ok to have a relatioship but looking at a picture makes you another sex offender. This is a morally bankrupt system with sick laws to turn ordinary people in to monsters. No tabloids were prosecuted despite having produced images of 16/17yr olds for more than 30 years.

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  • 68. At 3:35pm on 29 Jun 2008, victimofore wrote:


    Your story does not surprise me. Indeed the CPS held off on the majority of ore prosecutions intentionally until May 1, 2004 for the SOA 2003 to come into effect. They then convinced the Crown Courts to apply the laws retrospectively. (So that in many cases people went overnight from having a few pics of "totty in the tabloid" to "possessing indecent images of child abuse")

    I like you am 2000% for child protection. But the SOR is nothing to do with child protection. It is meant to be an adminitrative tool to manage individuals who are a sexual risk to adults and children. Instead, it has been turned into a catch all label for anyone happened to be on the wrong side of a click of a computer mouse, relieved themselves in an alley on the way home from the pub, got into a fist fight with a seventeen year old, rapists and murders. As all are lumped together, the public assume everyone on the SOR falls into the last two crimes.

    Be careful iaccuse- after all if you attempt to assist a lost child, stop a child drowning, give first aid at a traffic accident, etc. you will be arrested. Isn't that great for child protection?

    Oh, and I like you, blame the zealotry of Blunkett- but also Blair for getting his mates names D listed and therefore never investigated like mere mortals.

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  • 69. At 00:36am on 02 Jul 2008, RichardChart wrote:

    Absolutely agree especially at £100K+ PA to lock them up. Easy solution hang them.No doubt the right on brigade will be in uproar that I dare speak for the moral majority. Judging most of the comments posted most are probably from defensive paedophiles

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  • 70. At 00:40am on 02 Jul 2008, RichardChart wrote:

    At £100K+ PA to lock them up. Easy solution hang them.No doubt the right on brigade will be in uproar that I dare speak for the moral majority. Judging the comments posted most are probably from defensive paedophiles

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