Figures of people

Link – Paedophiles – Monsters or Humans?

Whether you agree with the Kavanagh sisters call for getting help for pedophiles or not, and there’s a lot to consider there that I’m not going to get in to, this is an issue that we have to start to deal with:

“What do you think of when you hear the word “paedophile”? Do you think of a person?

I don’t. I don’t even think of a human being when I hear that word. The media’s portrayal of paedophiles as monsters generates and supports fear. This portrayal can prevent us from seeing them as actual human beings. We have labelled them, categorised them and no longer think of them as human.  All we see is an unforgivable and heinous sexual act against an innocent child from a creature we feel doesn’t deserve to live.”

My reasons have less to do with helping to heal a pedophile and more to do with protecting children. As adults it can be extremely difficult for us to wrap our heads around the fact that the person abusing kids doesn’t look or act like a monster. They aren’t socially awkward, or have horns growing out of their heads. The vast majority of the time it’s a relative, a coach, a favorite teacher, a babysitter, etc.

Now imagine how difficult it is for a child to not only wrap their heads around that and see it for what it is when it’s not some “monster” doing it, but to also want to tell anyone and potentially put that person in danger?

We aren’t helping kids with this language and this dehumanization. We’re setting them up to be abused by people who turn out to be human after all.

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