The Telegraph, a London newspaper blasted headlines on August 28, 2011: “Pedophilias have won unsupervised access to their own children because it would breach their human rights to keep them apart judges have ruled”.
The Daily Caller had its own contribution. They commented on August 15: “If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophilias themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illness – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) set to undergo a significant revision by 2013. Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.” Child activist, Dr. Judith Reismen, a visiting professor at Liberty University’s school of Law, said the conference is part a of a strategy to condition people into accepting pedophiles. Dr. Reismen went on to say, “The data on paroled pedophiles confirms these predators repeat their crimes against children and are known to have escalated them even to murder.”
Both of these chilling reports challenged my anger management skills. Have we come so far in our battle against child sexual abuse as to reverse ourselves? Child sexual abuse, while still on the rise, is not without its warriors. Thousands of websites and blogs by survivors attest to people coming out in the open to fight back, to try to understand, to reach out to other survivors. We are all in this war together; but we need an army. If what I’m hearing changes the interpretation we now have of pedophilia, which means it is a crime against humanity punishable by a serious prison sentence, we’re going to need more than an army; we’re going to need a miracle. Pedophilia may one day be defined as nothing more than “a fondness for children.”
As a survivor of incest I can attest to the total damage and devastation this crime wreaked in my life. After running away from home when I was 18 I spent the next 27 years of my life going from one abuser to another. Hospitalized twice in my early twenties for failed suicide attempts; there would be more. I became a sex addict, promiscuous, co-dependent, neurotic, an insomniac, had low self-esteem, weak boundaries, and suffered from severe depression and manic-depressive behavior. Every one of these behavior problems had their origins in the trauma that happened to me in the middle of the night when I was thirteen. It not only almost destroyed me; it caused my three beloved daughters to suffer the same trauma. As an untreated childhood sexual abuse victim, I had no knowledge of how to set boundaries, how to choose healthy partners and how to like myself. My daughters, as most daughters do, followed my lead. I was a single parent raising her children with no child support and no father to give them other guidance. Who else were they to learn from? Despite the fact that today my three daughter and I live healthy lives with healthy partners, we still carry our trauma somewhere deep inside our souls. It is a continual reminder that child sexual abuse is a multi-generational problem.
I have an idea. Let’s redefine murder as “the action someone takes when severely provoked”? That way we won’t have to put killers behind bars. We can just let them roam free.
We must not and cannot let pedophilia become redefined.