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#327828 - 04/09/10 09:47 AM Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes?
JustScott Offline
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Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2575

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#327872 - 04/09/10 08:22 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: JustScott]
ComicBookGuy Offline
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Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
I'm perfectly open to trying ideas from other countries, but more saddened that the BBC has decided to focus on the offender in American Child Abuse Awareness month for the second year running.

Hopefully that will not carry over into the TV coverage as it did in 2009.

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#327890 - 04/09/10 10:32 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: JustScott]
pufferfish Offline
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Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6857
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: JustScott


Befriend 'em and castrate 'em.

I don't say this out of blind hatred. I have read the book: Conversations With a Pedophile. In that book the pedophile, who was highly intelligent, stated that he could NOT be trusted if he were turned loose in society. He offered to be chemically or surgically castrated but the laws of the state in which he was incarcerated wouldn't allow it. He had methodically molested over 1000 boys according to his own claim.

Allen




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#327893 - 04/10/10 12:51 AM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: ComicBookGuy]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
For me it depends on how we focus on the offender. If we're focusing on strategies that work for reducing re-offending I'm all for it since this goes to the core of diminishing instances of child abuse. However, one of the pitfalls for sexual offenders, especially child sex offenders, is allowing perps to minimize their responsibility for their offence(s) by blaming it on their own childhood experiences. That said, I am well aware of the ideals behind circles of accountability for sex offenders, which I support. To be clear it is not a cure for aberrant sexual behaviour. Rather, it allows offenders to be honest with themselves in a safe venue where being able to talk about their offences and the reasons behind them works to diminish thoughts of acting on them again. The flip side is ostracizing and marginalizing sex offenders to the point that they are driven undergound where they act from an isolated and shame-based place. Please don't misunderstand that I feel sex offenders don't deserve the punishment they receive for what they did. Instead, the key word is accountability so after they have served their time they should still be required to make an effort to change their behaviour in a pro-active way on behalf of society.

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#327937 - 04/10/10 12:22 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: jls]
pufferfish Offline
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Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6857
Loc: USA
Good points, jls

I guess that since there are many different psychological makeups in offenders, there needs to be a diversity of approaches in how to handle them. Our legal system is a thousand miles from this, unfortunately.

Allen


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#327943 - 04/10/10 01:12 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: JustScott]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
NO.



Edited by kidneythis (04/10/10 01:21 PM)
_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#327952 - 04/10/10 01:58 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: kidneythis]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
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Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Just to clarify a few points:

"Pedophilia" is a clinical term that is reserved for individuals who have a strong desire to be sexual with pre-pubescent children and/or have acted on these feelings. That would exclude the "pedophile priest" and others who molest young teens, as well as the sexual offenders who get into "consensual" relationships with under age teens.

The "one size fits all" approach based on dealing with the "worst of the worst" dilutes the efforts to treat those of lesser threat.

Universal banishment or incarceration of those who are treatable (and the vast majority of sexual offenders do not go on to abuse others, particularly after sex offense-specific treatment) wastes resources that could be used for prevention purposes and supervision of those who are more dangerous and at risk to reoffend.

Remember, the vast majority of those committing sexually abusive acts have not been previously caught. Some of them will abuse many while others stop at one victim. Never identified, they don't become part of the group who are labeled and probably stigmatized by society.

The Circles of Support and Accountability appear from the research to be a useful tool to prevent further abuse. The temptation to harrass and make life as miserable as possible for those who have been convicted of these offenses does nothing to reduce recidivism and in fact, makes recidivism more likely.

Often, the Circles are church based and can mobilize a team of people willing to work with these individuals and help them get re-established in the community instead of driving them off without any supervision or accountability.

While, on an emotional basis, many will want these people to be punished beyond what the judicial system does to them, eventually they will be out in the commmunity. They can be supervised and helped to rehabilitate or they can be harrassed and made to feel hopeless. Offending, for many, comes out of a sense of hopelessness. No need to deliberately inflict this if your goal is prevention rather than revenge.

Remember that the lack of understanding of victimization by some-- i.e., a victim is going to abuse others (Vampire Syndrome), is based on ignorance of the issue. Belief that all or most offenders will abuse many children or that all sexual offenses involving children is true pedophilia is off the mark as well.

This is a complex issue and the more one learns about it, the more accurate your understanding will be.



Edited by Ken Singer, LCSW (04/10/10 01:59 PM)

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#327954 - 04/10/10 02:38 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
catfish86 Offline
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Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Correct me if I am wrong Ken, but isn't one of the biggest factors an inability to empathize with the pain or emotions of others, especially their victims.

BTW< I am reading your book and it is very informative and empowering, thank you for writing it.

I think this type of program is right on. For some reason, a sex offender has broken or rationalized through the social taboos against sexual offenses (ie sex without consent, with a child, with relatives, etc.). This is based simply on imposing those social taboos through a group of confidants who also remove the isolation that may drive a need to exercise power by abusing others.

_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#327958 - 04/10/10 02:53 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
melliferal Offline
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Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW
Just to clarify a few points:

"Pedophilia" is a clinical term that is reserved for individuals who have a strong desire to be sexual with pre-pubescent children and/or have acted on these feelings. That would exclude the "pedophile priest" and others who molest young teens, as well as the sexual offenders who get into "consensual" relationships with under age teens.

The "one size fits all" approach based on dealing with the "worst of the worst" dilutes the efforts to treat those of lesser threat.


I think I have to argue this point, Ken; I don't think the distinction is so important in many cases. Puberty is a process with gradual effects that happen over the course of years. It isn't a switch - it's not something where one day a kid is definitively pre-pubescent and the next day he's quite obviously mature. Or, let me qualify that - perhaps a blood test can mark the very moment puberty begins.

The eye cannot. I would offer that for at least the entire first year of puberty, maybe even somewhat longer, its physical characteristics are such that they can't be seen, heard, or otherwise noticed in a child who's wearing clothes. While many of the victims of "pedophile priests", for example, may be pubescent after all, their ages are such that I would submit their abusers could not have known that until the moment they got the victims undressed; and it's quite obvious that by then, the abuser had already made the decision to abuse, and the victim's having or not having started puberty did not have any bearing on that decision - unless it's that the abuser initially figured the child for pre-pubescent, and in such a case the perp shouldn't be treated differently just because he happened to be wrong. Nor is the distinction pertinent in cases where the abuse begins when the child is pre-pubescent and continues throughout his teenage years.

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#327973 - 04/10/10 06:45 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: melliferal]
Obi Online   content
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1314
Loc: kansas
what if you were friends with an offender before you found out and decided to remaind friends after?

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#327976 - 04/10/10 06:59 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: Obi]
onlyakid Offline
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Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with Ken, I think we can't take our personal feelings of wanting to make a abusers life hell and place them above trying to lower the recidvism rate.

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"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

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#327978 - 04/10/10 07:19 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: onlyakid]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
Obi I did that. By Ken's definition he was a pedo. His step daughter was 8 when he confessed to it and he'd been doing it for a year or more that he admitted to. That relationship went south by his own actions. I wouldn't do that today. I'd rather not talk about it I'm quite disgusted and ashamed of myself for being so loyal to him for so many years.

There are also the people who abused me physically and mentally. While I was sexually abused by teens and young men having sex with me, I was also sexualized as part of my mental abuse. It was a concerted effort by an almost all black cast to destroy me as revenge against whitey. Which was my name as far as I knew for years. EDIT Literally I did not know my own name.
EDITed this paragraph;
Anyway most of the people who abused me had no interst in sex except that sexualizing me by insisting I take positions on who was attractive and what I'd do in situations I didn't understand etc. then calling me queer or a homo, telling me I liked boys in a way that made it seem wrong. [this really fucked up my ability to make male friends as I came to understand being friends with a male was wrong and I was always on edge because of it, I just figured that out BTW.] I didn't know what queer or homo was but I could tell by the way they said it that I didn't want to be it. All this was known to cause damage later in life so they did it. In fact they would talk about how it was going to harm me to me. I see now knowing that I was going to be ECT'd they felt freed up to do many things.
They were just plain scum not unlike the German's who made the Nazi machine work. How does one name them as a group? Are people like this considered a group similar to the group labeled pedo? Is that what a psychopath is or whats that pother name they called my father? psych something. Those are the main abusers and damagers that come to my mind as I recall things that took place back then. I occasionally get flashes of being sodomized by groups but the memories are mainly of the dehumanizing, the physical torture, and the medical experiments is the only thing I can call them.
I guess I'm only adding rhetoric to my original post which I still stand by.
NO being frindly to a pedo doesn't help us or them.

The distinction Ken mentions is beyond my ability to judge right now but it does make sense the way he explains it and that group might even include a few vampires among them. That doesn't make the myth real, it is only correlative.



Edited by kidneythis (04/13/10 09:37 PM)
_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#328044 - 04/11/10 05:41 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: Obi]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Catfish is correct in his listing that a lack of true empathy is a hallmark of sexual abusers. The kinds of mental gymnastics many use to justify the abuse is evident in their explanations (in some, not all or even most cases) that they are trying to make the victim "feel good".

This is especially evident with those who target pre-pubescent boys who (as Mellifer accurately points out) are in the PROCESS of puberty. It is not an event but a process. The event for a girl will be the day she gets her period; for the boy, his first ejaculation. However, the pubertal process is taking place for months prior to these events.

These indiduals will sometimes abuse the boy with masturbation or oral sex to "make him feel good" as he is experiencing the sexual feelings that come into greater focus at this time. The ability for prepubescent children to experience sexual arousal and feelings from stimulation takes place in the womb and then onward. In normal (i.e., non-abusive, self stimulatory) situations, they may experience orgasms from the stimulation. Or, when someone stimulates their bodies to the point of orgasm, they generally don't know what is going on.

This is insidious in terms of how the child/young teen experiences the feelings and the relationship with the abuser. It is often at the heart of the confusion (including sexual identity) that he experiences. The lack of empathy was exemplified by a 16-year old boy I worked with in a residential treatment program I was at years ago.

When talking about performing oral sex on an 8 yr old boy, he told the group that he used empathy in his offense and thought at the time, "Who doesn't enjoy getting a blow job?" From his perspective (as a sexually mature teenager), the idea of receiving oral sex was perfectly fine. As the other boys in group pointed out to him, the 8 yr old doesn't understand the context and experiences confusion around the pleasurable feelings and this teen was lacking the empathy for the child and his developmental level.

So, empathy is generally lacking. Afterall, anyone who experienced sexual abuse or believed that he was doing something beneficial for the victim is just not there.


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#328057 - 04/11/10 08:54 PM Re: Does 'befriending' sex offenders stop new crimes? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I agree with you that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to offenders. Your right that there are different degrees of varying types of manipulation and violence so approaches to the problem need to be specific according to whom we're dealing with.

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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