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Child Protection

'Action not jail' for paedophiles

At last someone seems to be talking sense about this issue. I don't expect the public will agree with him though.

Looking at those sorts of photos is wrong and the people who do it need help. However, actually taking those photos or committing an indecent act against a child is far worse and as such the penalties should be different. We should be looking to help those who have these thoughts, but haven't acted on them and I can't see how throwing them in Jail is actually helping them.

Also if they've crossed the boundary and looked at these sorts of photos and they are going to be put on the sex offenders register and imprisoned anyway, what incentive is there for them not to take it further?

We wouldn't treat a drug user in the same way as a dealer.

Such zero tolerance attitudes are also putting barriers preventing safer adult-child relationships. Another story on the radio this morning (which I doesn't appear to have made it onto the BBC news site) covered how men are not going into child facing careers due to the risks of being falsely accused of these sorts of feelings.

Children need adults to care for them and to love them. Yes, they should be protected against abuse, but when this protection starts getting in the way of the care they need surely we need to rethink how we are addressing it?

Personally, I like children (in the socially acceptable way). However, even though I don't have these sorts of feelings towards children, I find myself uneasy when I'm around other people's children in case something I do is taken the wrong way. Surely this isn't the way things should be?

When I was doing my PGCE we were warned not to allow ourselves to be alone with children as it doesn't take much for them to make a false accusation and then it's your word against theirs and even if this wouldn't be enough to convict you of anything it would certainly damage public opinion of your and hence directly affect your career.

Surely there must be a better way of protecting children then this?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
1st Jun, 2007 11:33 (UTC)
Coincidentally, I was ranting about similar issues to a colleague just this morning. Something has gone very wrong with our country on this issue.

- Staff in several Library Services have been told that they must never, ever reach out to grab a toddler who is fleeing from the library onto a busy road. Touching children is Always Wrong!

- There are fewer and fewer men in childcare and primary school teaching. I've heard several men say that they would never in a million years consider teaching in a primary school, because of the risk of false allegations. However, the achievement by boys in schools in declining rapidly. Many experts believe that one cause of this is the lack of male role-models in early education. The boys are only taught by women, so grow up thinking that learning is for girls.

- How many men would dare to step in to help a child who was clearly lost and in distress in the middle of a town?

- The cars are choked with cars because so many parents are scared to let their child walk 200 yards to school, in case Something Bad happens. Something Bad is now much more likely to be a road accident, as a result.

I doubt there are any more child abusers out there than there ever were - although the Internet has meant that they've become rather more visible. However, the fear of them has put children in more danger than ever. Innocents are scared to help children in need, in case they get accused. There are places that try to help these men overcome their addiction, but they tend to get hounded out by popular outrage, so the men are left with no support, and are more likely to reoffend.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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