A few months ago I was sat with a glass of wine, just hopping around the channels to find something that wasn’t total crap. I happened upon a programme about paedophiles and the way we deal with them. I have to say, it was rather fascinating from start to finish.
Now anyone who has ever been on social media will know how the vocal people in society want to deal with them. You will find countless pages where they call for them to be hanged, or other forms of sick punishment inflicted upon them. Yes, that may make the people who write the comments feel good, but they are really just wasting their time as we don’t execute people, and we certainly don’t torture people to death. Their approach is therefore about as effective as writing a letter to Father Christmas.
However, the documentary rightfully asked what approach we should take to coping with this problem.
It is important, when having this discussion to point out that there are two different forms of child abuser. There is the sadist who actually wants to hurt and inflict pain upon those who can’t defend themselves. These people are beyond sick, and it is the violence that turns them on, not necessarily the child. The child is just easier to handle.
Then there is the individual who may not be violent individual, and who is just attracted to children. Before anyone starts sating they are all the same, it is clinically proven they are not. In fact, the concept of childhood is quite a recent development, going back to Victorian times. However, an interest in ‘young people ‘ goes back longer than that. Youngsters in olden times were being married off at ages that would make you wince in the modern era. The Spartan soldiers were even encouraged to have sex with young boys who would go into the military as it would make the bond stronger (that part was left out of 300 of course!)
Now before anyone starts thinking I am saying child abuse is acceptable, I’m not. Society has moved on, we have developed. We understand children are young and need nurturing. Hell, we don’t even put them up chimney’s anymore! We also don’t make human sacrifices (most cultures don’t anyway) What was acceptable back in the day is rightfully seen as abhorrent now. Still, there will be people who still have these urges. They need to be dealt with
Back to the documentary, it compared the system in Britain, where we spout hate, threaten death, and then lock up the molester in jail, to elsewhere. However, the offence has already taken place. Someone’s life has been damaged, possibly forever. Even if you were allowed to execute paedophiles, or as we do actually do, give them long sentences, the damage has been done. At the risk of sounding glib, it is like one kid has had to ‘take one for the team.’
Germany on the other hand had TV adverts which called for people attracted to children to get help. This was on normal TV, didn’t demonise, and was designed to help them suppress their urges. To me, that made total sense. It was much better to stop the behaviour happening in the first place, than it was to go on about the punishments once the offence had taken place.
Obviously the criminal justice system has to have a role once someone becomes an offender, but it can’t be the only way.
A National Campaign
Now, I may be a little cynical, but I thought that this would be something that stayed in continental Europe. However, it seems that I was wrong.
A national video campaign has been launched to encourage child porn to get the help they need.
The initiative from The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) is modelled on traditional anti-drink drive and anti-knife crime campaigns.
Campaigners state that the aim is to protect children, by encouraging men and women who look at these things to seek therapy and counselling.
For me, this really is a sign that the argument is heading the right way. One child being hurt is one to many. Anything we can do to stop that happening the better.
As a society, it is time we dealt with this cancer correctly. Social media posturing, or tough political talk just isn’t the way.
Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.
When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
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