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#24778 - 09/28/04 03:10 PM For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
Ivo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 267
Loc: Germany
I hope Ken that you will read my post.
Few days ago you issued post: What would you ask a perpetrator. I am interesting to hear from your experience (or from experience of your colleagues) what is your opinion how much is successful therapy for perpetrators?
I also wonder how usually they conclude that they have to go to the therapy, I mean are they usually forced by law (in cases that they are caught in the act) or it is more common that they are seeking privately for help?
I am interesting on this because I want to deeply understand process of molestation and big part of it is perpetrator's mind.
I know what's happening in mind of a victim but perpetrator mind is quite another thing.
How much are they aware of their acts and consequences, are they at all aware of it?
Are they aware that something is not ok with their minds?
Therapy is based on partnership between two sides of which is one therapist but how much trust and openness can be made between perpetrator and therapist?
What is usual family background of perps, or is there some kind of a relation for example between violence or drinking problem in family and perps from the same families?
If we can understand this terrible circle better maybe we can do more progress to break chains and do something to stop recruiting new victims.
I am very sad when I see on news about new cases of children rape or abuse. When and how would this stop? Can we reduce this?
What science can tell us?

PS. Of course I know that you are very busy, I also do not expect that you know all answers but I would like to hear your thinking.
I didn't want to send you PM because maybe these questions are also interesting for other people, my deep apology for this.

Ivo


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#24779 - 09/29/04 03:48 AM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3379
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Hi Ivo,

These are guestions that have burned in my mind for a long time as well...

Perhaps if there are enough others like you and me this might be something Ken might want to try to somehow work into a section in his new book...

I for one would really like to try to get into my Uncles mind and know just what his thought process was back then...

Take care,

TJ jeff

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#24780 - 09/29/04 03:10 PM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Ivo:
You have so many good questions here that I have to paste just about all of your post to be able to respond to them. And to TJ Jeff, your question is actually the heart of the book. Having specialized in evaluating and treating juvenile sex abusers for over 25 years, I think I've learned a few things along the way. I hope to bring this understanding to survivors to reduce the power of the offender in the hearts and minds of survivors.

Ivo wrote:

Quote:
what is your opinion how much is successful therapy for perpetrators?
I also wonder how usually they conclude that they have to go to the therapy, I mean are they usually forced by law (in cases that they are caught in the act) or it is more common that they are seeking privately for help?
I am interesting on this because I want to deeply understand process of molestation and big part of it is perpetrator's mind.
I know what's happening in mind of a victim but perpetrator mind is quite another thing.
How much are they aware of their acts and consequences, are they at all aware of it?
Are they aware that something is not ok with their minds?
Therapy is based on partnership between two sides of which is one therapist but how much trust and openness can be made between perpetrator and therapist?
What is usual family background of perps, or is there some kind of a relation for example between violence or drinking problem in family and perps from the same families?
If we can understand this terrible circle better maybe we can do more progress to break chains and do something to stop recruiting new victims.
I am very sad when I see on news about new cases of children rape or abuse. When and how would this stop? Can we reduce this?
What science can tell us?
I'm not sure
Quote:
how much is successful therapy for perpetrators?
If you are asking how long do they need to be in therapy, the general answer is 1 to 3 years (or in some cases, longer). If you are asking about success (no further sexual offending), the research for adults and juveniles who have successfully completed sex offense-specific treatment is very low (of further offending). This is much lower than ordinary crimes or substance abuse relapse. In general, recidivism (new sexual offense) runs 5% - 15% over 15 years. Non-sexual recidivism for common criminals is much higher. Substance abuse relapse is even higher.

On the other hand, perhaps surprisingly, is that the re-offense rates for untreated offenders (deniers, treatment drop-outs, untreated) is not much higher than those of treated abusers. In any event, the specter of an untreated abuser having additional victims after being caught is less common than one would assume, particularly in light of media reports. (Remember that when you read about a person who was caught and goes on later to abuse more, you are justifyably outraged. And we hear about these terrible events all too often. However, there are many more who are caught and do not re-offend. We just don't hear about them. However, research doesn't show that treatment SUBSTANTIALLY reduces recidivism, but it does reduce it somewhat.)

I will state clearly that there are very few abusers (read, almost none) who voluntarily will go into or stay in treatment. I've seen a small number who will stay in treatment after their probation or parole expires but I have to say that I've seen maybe two or three who came to treatment with no pressure from the court, family or any outside agent. Abusers generally only go when forced to be in treatment. And they should be forced as a condition of probation or parole or while in prison.

Quote:
I know what's happening in mind of a victim but perpetrator mind is quite another thing.
How much are they aware of their acts and consequences, are they at all aware of it?
Are they aware that something is not ok with their minds?
I am writing this book specifically to answer the question above. There are many good books for male survivors that explain what happened, how it affects the survivor in many areas, how the person handles (or doesn't handle) the experience, etc. However, to my knowledge, there have been no books for survivors about how the perpetrator thinks and how he manipulates the victim.

The perpetrator knows what he is doing in almost all cases. I have seen some situations where a young adult has been in a "consensual" sexual relationship where the victim lied about her age, but for the most part, all perpetrators know that they are doing something either against the law or is inappropriate. They tend to rationalize, justify, or otherwise distort their own thinking to make it ok. There is a whole chapter in the book on "How they make it ok to do what they did".

Those who claim an alcohol or drug intoxication defense generally are either lying or fooling themselves. Alcohol and drugs do not make a person do something. They lower the inhibition that keeps a person from doing something they want to do.

Regarding trust and openness between therapist and offender-- Many programs use polygraph to be sure the offender is honest in treatment and to help deter any additional offenses while in treatment. There are polygraph specialists who get additional training and do mostly sex offense polygraphs. We use polygraphs in a juvenile community based program I consult with. It has a deterrant effect because the person knows that he will be polygraphed in a few months with the question, "Since your last polygraph, have you had any sexual contact with anyone under the age of xx?" This is like knowing you will be drug tested every week. You'd be foolish to use drugs as long as the testing continues.

Some therapists are ill-trained and utilize confrontive techniques that are abusive. Fortunately, they are few in number. Most sex offense specialists are members of ATSA (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers) in the US and Canada. ATSA has an annual conference to present research and workshops to help improve technique. I've been a member for 14 years and go every year to gain knowledge from others.

My approach with offenders is to treat them like human beings with a problem. They generally feel bad about themselves and what they did. It does not help to berate them or call them names. They will be safer and function better if they can feel better about themselves. My job is to provide information and help them identify the factors that make it more likely to offend, identify the distorted thinking that makes it possible, find out what emotional needs they have that drive them to abuse others (and how to get those needs met without hurting themselves or others), recognize potential high risk situations, develop a plan to keep from ever offending again, etc. Having a probation or parole officer enforce the conditions of treatment is a definite plus.

You ask about the family background of perpetrators. Great question. I will quote Ed Wenck, the District Attorney for the County of Baltimore in charge of sex crime prosecution. He said to me many years ago regarding perpetrators, "They're just like us, only moreso."

What he meant was that "we", whether prosecutor, therapist, survivor, general public, etc., are a varied lot. If we want to believe that perpetrators come from dysfunctional families, how many survivors are here from dysfunctional families, yet they don't abuse?

How many perpetrators come from healthy, supportive families? Probably not that many, but some do. Some are substance abusive, physically abusive to spouse or children, "model citizens", compulsive porn users, highly educated, functional illiterates, etc.

Point is, whatever you could say about the background of abusers, you could say about the general population. There is no "abuse gene" or characteristics that would generalize abusers.

That is why the treatment needs to be tailored to the individual. The best treatment regime is individual and group therapy. The individual works on the specific issues for that person and the group helps in triggering ideas and better understanding hearing that another has felt, thought or behaved in a similar way.

Although there are a few commonalities between abusers (such as being more likely to experience physical or sexual abuse in childhood) it is difficult to make broad generalizations. Think of any particular population, such as Italians, African-Americans, Jews, Mexicans, etc. You can make some generalized statements but chances are that they may be stereotyped. (I.e., all Italians are hot-headed, love pasta).

In terms of preventing sexual abuse, every abuser therapist I know would love to be put out of business if there were a sure-fire way to prevent new victims from being made.

There are organizations that work to prevent abuse from a primary, secondary or tertiary effort. Primary prevention means stopping someone from becoming a victim. Programs like CAP (Child Assault Prevention) is in many states in the US and about 15 countries (including Bosnia, I believe). It works to empower children to say no to abusers. This is often successful but some children still get abused.

Another primary prevention approach is Stop It Now!, an organization that encourages family members and friends to identify suspicious pre-assault behavior with potential abusers and confront them. It also wants potential abusers (or those who have previously abused and want to stop) to contact them to gain control and get help BEFORE they abuse another.)

Secondary prevention is aimed at those vulnerable to become abusers. Victim treatment is an example of secondary prevention. If a victim is undetected or untreated, s/he is at higher risk of becoming an abuser, although the vast majority of victims do not go on to abuse others.

Tertiary prevention works with those who have already abused in order to prevent them from abusing again. This is the main reason why I work with abusers.

What I sincerely believe, and was promoted by my mentor, Fay Honey Knopp (read her bio on the MS site) is that it takes a combination of prevention education, victim/survivor treatment, and offender treatment to reduce and hopefully eliminate sexual victimization of children and vulnerable adults.

I hope that answers your questions and I welcome additional questions and responses.

Ken


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#24781 - 09/29/04 04:19 PM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
jwwells Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Ontario
Ken, this is a related question:

Among men falsey accused of child or spousal abuse about 5% will go on to actually abuse as a traceable consequence of the false charges/convictions. The fathers groups have known this for years.

Is there a similar false to real rebound crime rate for child molestation? Do some of the men falsely convicted of child molestation (6% in Ontario (one of the few places where the real rate is known)) actually go out and molest?

jw

_________________________
Say what you mean: Mean what you say.
Whatever you say: Say it with love.
The Moody Blues: Keys to the Kingdom

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#24782 - 09/29/04 10:27 PM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Deleted


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#24783 - 09/30/04 12:51 AM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Good discussion. Thanks for starting it, Ivo. It's obvious, Ken, that you're sharing some of the words that you're using in your book, thank you. I don't know how many of us scared ourselves with the fear that now that we've been, "bitten," we, too, would bite. That fright had me immobilized for far too long. I don't know what witches tale I had running around in my head, but I was convinced that the legacy of being abused would leave me derelict on some perpetrator pile of shit.
So, with the guilt and shame, I had another layer of fear…that I’d become, what had made me so worthless and miserable.
Thanks, Curtis, for your always significant contribution. What you’ve done for us here, and the general public, are, indeed, guiding lights to follow, should we need a path like the one that you have blazed; so good to finally meet you during the Level II.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#24784 - 10/04/04 08:41 PM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
Ivo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 267
Loc: Germany
Dear all thank you on your posts,
especially to you Ken.
You gave mi total new insight on matter that I am not familiar with.
Thank you all once more.

Kindest regards,
Ivo


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#24785 - 10/08/04 12:09 PM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Very good questions Ivo, and Ken, thank you for the answers.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#443163 - 08/03/13 04:39 PM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions [Re: Ivo]
GoldStone Offline


Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 220
Loc: Far East
Bump.

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#443917 - 08/10/13 06:53 AM Re: For Ken Singer, LCSW but also feel totally free to add your comments or questions [Re: Ivo]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 613
Loc: where the shadows lie
Did this book end up being published?
_________________________


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