There is some discussion of prevention and working with pedophiles in the article, and there are lots of opinions on that, and discussions we should be having. Regardless of that though, this is something we need to stop, assuming that child molesters are “monsters” that are outside the norms of society, because it truly does blind us to the fact that there are lots of pedophiles who don’t fit that description at all.
Dr Letourneau said viewing them as monsters put ‘blinders on’ when it came to behaviour from a friend, relative or colleague that would be a red flag if it involved a stranger.
‘It makes it almost impossible to consider the possibilities of prevention and it makes it very difficult to identify people who are engaging in concerning behaviours but who are people that we know and love or like.’
The commission heard most adults who sexually abuse a child in an institutional context already have close contact with the victim before the abuse but the myth of ‘stranger danger’ remains.