'Tough approach to paedofiles not working'

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Society should be less hard on paedophiles. The current tough social climate is forcing them into isolation, which only increases the chances of missteps.

Sexologist Erik van Beek made these statements in Monday’s edition of national newspaper Trouw. Mr Van Beek treats men with paedophile tendencies. He says they often feel lonely as a result of society’s harsh condemnation.

"It is all intended to protect children, but usually backfires,” Van Beek says. “A convict is actually more likely to relapse if he cannot have contact with other adults.”

"Tensions and frustration are often expressed sexually; in their case with children,” Van Beek says.

"On top of which, an inflamed social climate leads to fierce reactions in victims’ parents and other people involved. In addition to the abuse, these fierce reactions can be harmful to a child."

Sexologist Jelto Drenth advises men with paedophile tendencies to tell nobody about their feelings. “Before you know it, stories will start circulating. It must be terrible: people with these feelings have nowhere to turn."

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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