Therapy and support for children who have been abused must take priority, says Jon Brown
We've contributed to a Channel 4 documentary, The Paedophile Next Door.
Jon Brown, NSPCC lead for tackling sexual abuse, said:
"Paedophiles must understand that their urges are not normal and not acceptable and anyone who abuses a child should be in jail. However, not all paedophiles act on their urges and there are people who know they are sexually attracted to children but haven’t committed a crime. This means pursuing a criminal path is not possible and we have to look at other options.
"If we are going to protect children from sexual abuse we must make sure that anyone who recognises they have a problem, and wants help to make sure they don’t harm a child, is supported in getting treatment. Therapy and support for victims of abuse must take priority but this shouldn’t mean there is no help for those who want to change. We have to fund both and it will actually save money in the long run.
"The NSPCC is providing these services and more at locations across the UK but our reach is limited. We can’t be everywhere, we can’t reach everyone who needs help. And our work can only happen with the generosity of the public – more than 90 per cent of our funding comes from voluntary donations.
"If we refuse to work with paedophiles to the point where we won’t even engage with the ones who want to change and have not committed a crime, they will be less likely to come forward and seek treatment and children will be at higher risk. If we flinch from treating sex offenders then we are failing children."