‘We generally don’t like the fact that there are pedophiles either—like, we didn’t ask for this…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Vice, a left-leaning publication, published an article lamenting the plight of pedophiles and the U.S.’s inability to rehabilitate them, claiming society should focus on de-stigmatizing pedophilia.
Laws that “require therapists to report people they deem a risk to children to the police” prevent pedophiles—specifically “non-offending” adults attracted to children—from seeking help, Vice wrote.
“David, a 21-year-old college student in the United States, knows he is attracted to children between the ages of 4 and 11,” the article states. “He’s one of many pedophiles who knows it is wrong, but believes he was born this way, and that with treatment those urges can be controlled.”
Instead of punishing men like David, society should offer them support, Vice said.
“[I]t would be very, very inhuman to judge such a person,” said Klaus Beier, the creator of Berlin’s Project Dunkelfeld, a rehabilitation center for pedophiles. “Nobody chooses this … And I would always vote to integrate him in society.”
Max, a recovering pedophile, told Vice that acceptance has helped him “gain more control about those feelings and to learn more about myself.”
He said the treatment process had taught him ways of coping with his urges and redirecting them.
“I learned some strategies to make myself realize what I’m feeling is very different from what the girl is feeling when she’s playing with me or kids sometimes even say things like, ‘I love you,’ and to realize, ‘ok that’s not the same as I would feel,’” he said.
The U.S. should create a program like Dunkelfeld for pedophiles to seek help, the article concludes.
“I wish people understood that I mean we generally don’t like the fact that there are pedophiles either—like, we didn’t ask for this,” David said. “It’s something that a lot of people would be more comfortable ignoring. But when it’s you, it’s not really an option to ignore it.”