There is no shortage of news stories and reports on Pedophiles. It is absolutely everywhere, every few reports are on yet another child porn ring found out, another offender getting out of prison, pedophiles are seemingly everywhere.
The name pedophile stings my skin like I’ve left a Pore pack to dry on my skin too long.
To be a pedophile is the lowest of the low, you are even lower than Joffrey from Game of Thrones. Okay no more jokes. This is serious.
What is a Pedophile?
Pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children (Wiki).
Fun fact: Not all child sexual abusers are pedophiles. To read more on that click here. Learn yourself some potentially useful information and possibly save a child from abuse.
Pedophelia is classed as a Psychiatric disorder. But others argue that it is actually a sexual orientation. I have done a considerable amount of reading into it because I find that if I can understand it, I am able to feel better about the abuse I endured as a child.
My belief lies somewhere between pedophelia being an orientation and a disorder, I haven’t made up my mind. Nor do I know enough about it. However; for arguments sake lets assume it is a orientation; does it change things even if it is?
I don’t believe any man or woman would ever choose to be attracted to children. Can you imagine trying to live a normal life and how hard and exhausting that might be? The shame and guilt would be painful enough. There lies part of my belief that it is a sexual orientation. You just wouldn’t choose that.
What would we do if one of our children came to us with this?
Since pedophelia is such a dark and scary label and incredibly damaging to many children and future adults, are we looking it the right way?
There are no known counselling services in my area if someone was to come to me and say “I think I’m a pedophile”. They probably wouldn’t even come to me to say it in the first place because the shame and hatred associated with being attracted to children would scare any person into hiding.
There’s nothing for them. No support, no hotline they can call, no one to support them in a desperate time which could be the difference between them hurting a child or not.
This is where I believe many people would offend- they have isolated themselves, they essentially have nothing to lose because they have nowhere to go or no services to assist them. So how easy it could be to just give in.
It’s actually really sad.
My concern is that perhaps we aren’t talking about the ‘orientation’ or ‘disorder’ like it’s a real thing out there, we warn children against them, we brutally label them. But us, real people aren’t having serious discussions about what it means to us, to people we know, to anyone in the world.
Do we need to begin to have discussions with our teenagers about pedophelia, and what to do, or where to go for help and support should they ever find they have these attractions? And even if we were to begin to have these conversations what would we tell them?
I don’t even know. Do you? But I am willing to learn. I am open to the idea that Pedophelia is a ‘thing’ to be adressed now by families in everyday life.
No one likes pedophiles, no want wants to know about them, but chances are you have probably crossed one in your lifetime; I know I have. Read a comments thread on any given anti-pedophile page online and you are guaranteed to see that 95-99% of the comments are hateful spiteful ones. I feel the same way about offending pedophiles or sex offenders just as the the next person does, if they offended, they offended, they potentially ruined a life,or many lives and they need to be punished for their actions.
But what about the ones that don’t, they don’t hurt anyone, being attracted to someone isn’t illegal (while for us regular peeps we feel it should be, because we don’t understand, because we don’t want to). But if they do what they can to avoid hurting anyone then it’s not so bad, compared to the things that could happen to a child. I wonder how many less children could have been hurt had there been support services available to the high risk pedophiles.
I believe we need to change our perspective, we need to change our education on this ‘Orientation’ or ‘disorder’. Because not all pedophiles offend, some live regular lives, some of them are decent and moral people just like us. They like you and I, didn’t get to chose who they are attracted to.
This is not to protect them but to protect our children. The problem lies with the abusers, we need to start treating the actual problem, the offending pedophiles/child molesters. Not waiting till years later when the abused child starts to show mental health issues and then carries them well into adulthood.
Protecting our children is priority. So if the method being used isn’t working then I think it’s time for change. It’s a thing now….
*disclosure: I am in no way taking sides with pedophiles, I in no way condone the behaviour of offending pedophiles. I do however believe that with better support in place, this world can become a safer place for our babies. I’d also love to hear people’s views on this, so please comment and let me know.