Sex offender claims victim after confession about children
Sex offender ‘Andrew’ says his attraction to children is gone – but some fear he sees it as sexuality.
“Andrew”, whose identity has been disguised and an actor’s voice used for his own safety, will only be interviewed if it is certain that no one is within earshot.
He was on the sex offender registry for 10 years after being convicted of uploading nearly 80,000 indecent images of children – but claims he no longer “identifies as a pedophile”.
“I make sure I don’t put myself in difficult situations. But sometimes they find you,” Andrew admits.
“A while ago, when I was walking home in the summer, someone decided it was a good idea to have a party in the wading pool for the kids. A lot of kids were playing there. – 60% of the children were naked.
“When you try so hard to avoid that kind of thinking and it’s right there … it’s always my fault. It’s always my fault that I’ve been attracted to these kids.”
Presenter Becky Southworth feels “sick” and says her “stomach is turned upside down” as she listens to Andrew’s confession.
BBC Three documentary “Can Sex Offenders Change?” Becky follows as she enters the troubling world of sex offender rehabilitation.
Andrew is under police surveillance and is currently in therapy to prevent him from committing further crimes, which he says has changed his sexuality.
“What people forget is that pedophilia was the very definition of normal for me. I lived with it every day and as such it was my normal life,” says Andrew in a pre-statement. written.
“At least that was until three months ago when this all started to change and my mind finally started to change after a year of therapy.
“By this point, my feelings for children had worn out and the attractions of adults quickly got over them. I gradually had less interest in children until now, I only saw them as gentle to them. in a normal way Now most of the time kids just make me smile.
“The last thing to work on is the problem I have when I unfortunately see naked children every now and then, usually unexpectedly and without warning.
“While this doesn’t leave me sexually frustrated, it does induce a lot of anxiety in me because I don’t want to remember or see myself that way anymore.”
Andrew says he no longer considers himself a pedophile – and while he was bisexual with pedophilia, he is now heterosexual.
The sex offender says he suffered some form of sexual abuse as a child and the trauma had a profound effect on his mind.
He finds solace in regressing to a childish state – but through therapy, he tries to understand his memories.
Becky points out that many people like her were abused as children, but don’t commit terrible crimes.
She doesn’t understand how she felt the pain, why someone in the same position wants someone else to feel this and “can’t take this as an excuse.”
Concerned Becky admits: “What worries me about Andrew is that he has spoken about his attraction to children as a sexuality and to me sexuality is not something you can change even with therapy. . “
Andrew has been in therapy for 18 months and attends two psychotherapy sessions per week with an organization called STOPSO.
It’s been five years since he’s been caught with images of sexually abused children – and Andrew believes he’ll likely need therapy forever.
Andrew is now on a dating site and excited for his future. I’ve made so many changes but there are still things that need to be unraveled but to get there.
“I’m glad Andrew feels that his therapy is working for him and that he’s changed, but I’m not totally convinced that his attractions to children are gone, which is really worrying for me,” Becky worries. .
Her therapist, Michele, offers specialized trauma-based psychotherapy and treats both perpetrators and victims of abuse.
When asked if the treatment is actually working, Michelle explains, “Yes, I am very confident about it. So far I can say that 100% of my clients have undergone a big change and so far as far as I know they have not reoffended. . “
Andrew claims the company got it wrong, leaving Becky frustrated.
He says, “I am treated like a predator but in reality I have always been much closer to a victim. Nobody presses us because they see us as evil.”
Becky’s father was convicted of sexual offenses against children and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
He has since been released and while in jail he undertook a sex offender rehabilitation program, but Becky is not sure if that worked as she no longer speaks to him.
“I was 13 when my father was arrested for child sex offenses. He spent 10 years in prison for his crimes and part of his sentence was for crimes against me,” says Becky.
“It will never be an easy thing to say. You talk about your parents. These are the people who are supposed to be there for you and to protect you, to protect you from the world. You never think of a situation where this could be the person. that hurts you. “
Arrests for accessing indecent images of children have increased by 60% over the past five years, with only around 20% of those arrested going to jail.
Meeting the sex offenders living in our communities, Becky tries to understand what drove them to commit these horrific crimes, while seeing what treatment is available to stop them from committing more and wondering if sex offenders can really change.
There are three categories of abusive material online, with “A” being the most serious, including child rape photographs and videos.
Filmed across the UK in anonymous locations, Becky meets a growing group of offenders who were not sent to jail for their crimes and who have received treatment in the community.
Some people start out being addicted to porn and then want more of it.
‘Kyle’, now 22, was 19 when he was arrested for possession of indecent images of children.
He was only 13 when he started viewing images of child sex abuse victims and has now been on the sex offender registry for five years.
Feeling isolated and depressed, Kyle says he began to use harmful sexual images and thoughts to make himself feel good.
Claiming he’s not sexually attracted to children, Kyle says, “The original things I was watching were no longer effective so I took the next step to something slightly worse and worse until which he reaches this point because it was giving me the adrenaline rush at the time. “
Kyle admits that he now knows what he was doing was wrong and understands that someone was abused into creating the images he was watching, which he regrets creating a demand for.
He is supported and his risk monitored by professionals and volunteers from the Safer Living Foundation – with the program’s goal of preventing recidivism by safely reintegrating him into the community.
They don’t make the work they do public because threats and intimidation are not uncommon
Co-founder Professor Belinda Winder explains that out of 60 people at high risk, they only had one repeat offender.
But Becky worries that nothing is stopping Kyle from feeling isolated and lonely again when he leaves the program.
‘Vicky’ had to come to terms with finding out her partner was a sex offender – and Becky can’t figure out how she could stay with someone who committed such horrific crimes.
Her eight-year partner, “Chris”, was arrested for uploading disturbing indecent images of abused children, some of which fell into category “A”.
When the police knocked on the door, mortified Vicky was horrified when she discovered that they had found hundreds of indecent images of children.
When asked why she’s still with her boyfriend, Vicky replies, “He’s still the person you loved, but at the same time he did this terrible thing. Understand more of the context. It came from a porn addiction rather than wanting to do something to kids. “
When Chris was arrested two years ago, he lost his job and his friends abandoned him.
“I was terribly ashamed. I consider myself a good person. It’s not the kind of thing I would do in real life,” admits Chris, who insists he doesn’t want to replay the footage. indecent that he saw.
Angry Sand and Vicky admits she struggles with Chris’ claim that indecent images of children were just an extension of porn – and worries he hasn’t taken responsibility .
* Can sex offenders change? is available on BBC Three from Thursday