Note: This transcript was written by Robert West.
Welcome to the prevention podcast, I’m your host, Candice Christiansen. Our goal, at the prevention podcast, is to talk about dicey, controversial issues related to preventing sexual abuse. Why? Because it needs to be said. Topics include: the biology of pedophilia; risk, need and responsivity principles related to non-contact and contact sex offenders; researchers in the field of sex offender treatment; and more.
Join us bi-weekly, and let’s talk about it.
Welcome to the prevention podcast, I’m your host, Candice Christiansen. Today, Meg Martinez, my co-host, and I, we get to talk about who we’re not, and call out those who have shared a lot of misinformation globally about who we’re not. So let’s start with that. I am not a minor-attracted person. And for those of you that have actually taken the time to listen to our podcast, you know that. Meg is not a minor-attracted person either. Nor is anyone on our clinical team. We actually have a clinical team, a team of clinicians that treat all kinds of individuals, not just MAPs, here at The Prevention Project.
We’re not some group of rapists or child rapists or promoters of child rape. We are not that. We are educated. We have done our research. We have backgrounds in treatment with sex offenders. And we have a lot of contact with the global sex offender research and treatment community. We know what we’re talking about. And those individuals who are also sex offender providers and researchers, they too know what we’re talking about.
We are not pulling out terms such as “ephebophile” out of the air. We are not pulling terms such as “hebephile” out of the air. We’re not making those terms up. Those are actual terms used in the sex offender treatment and research community. Why do you think a prevention project would say that everyone deserves support? Because folks are coming forward, saying, “hey, I have this attraction, I want help in order to ensure that I don’t do anything with that attraction, that I remain safe in our communities.” Why would I not treat that person, as a survivor of horrific child sexual abuse?
And I will actually share some of the impact of my own trauma, and why I do this, in a little bit. But it makes no sense to me to say to someone, coming to me for help, to say no, you identify as a pedophile, kill yourself. How is that going to help keep our community safe? How is that going to help keep that person safe? That is not going to help anyone. So we need to get on board with prevention, because is the intervention. If we want to protect kids, this is how we do it.
If you truly wanted to make a difference in the world, instead of creating hateful YouTube videos, writing misinformed articles, or posting heinous things on your social media accounts, you would get together with the people who do share the same values as you, which you might be surprised that we do, to actually create a plan for change. Our plan for change, and our plan for intervention, is prevention. And that is never going away.
When we talk about people coming to us, sharing their fantasies, they don’t say, a description, or give a description, of a fantasy. So for those of you who think that we’re praising people for having fantasies of children, that is so grossly misinformed. Someone will use the word “fantasy,” “I am having fantasies about children that scare me.” No, they don’t go into detail. So, don’t try and twist our words. When someone comes to us and says, “help me, I want to stay safe, I don’t like having these fantasies,” key term here: “I don’t like having these fantasies.” We are going to help them be safe. So that’s the reality. That is the reality.
Do you know how offensive it is to have a YouTube channel claim that me, who is a survivor of being raped as an infant, molested multiple times by multiple people as a child, to the point where I can’t have kids, do you know how offensive it is to have you haters, Mainwaring from Lifesite, Jessica Jenkins from Daily Caller, and Josh Bernstein’s out there, claiming that I’m raping kids? Do you know how offensive that is? I am actually helping our communities stay safe. When we have individuals who say, “I have an attraction to a child” or “I have an attraction to a teen, and I don’t want to hurt anybody, I’m really depressed, my thoughts are stressing me out, living in a world where I’m experiencing so much hate is causing me so much inner turmoil, I need help,” why would I not help that person? As a survivor, it only makes sense. I am on a mission for prevention.
And by the way, our minor-attracted-person program is a fourth of what we do, maybe an eighth of what we do. We have just attained global attention for what we do. But we actually have a sex-offender program here, we have individuals coming from the community, who are not legally involved but have engaged in risky sexual behavior that we treat, that are not minor-attracted persons. We have a legally-involved group of individuals who have been convicted and convicted sex offenders who we treat. But no one’s talking about our other programs, right? We specialize in treating folks on the autism spectrum, who end up legally involved. Why? Because they do not understand the social cues of what’s going on around them, and believe what’s online is reality. They take it literally.
So we are advocates for prevention with individuals who are on the autism spectrum, and advocates for prevention for individuals who have traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain injuries who end up in the legal system. We do so much more than treat MAPs. Now, we are not using the term “MAP” to rebrand pedophilia. We are not using the term “MAP” to soften the term “pedophilia.”
Take some time. Go to https://thepreventionproject.org. Look at what we actually do. Call us. Email me, for God sakes. Get the facts. If you get to know us, if you listen, we are advocates for prevention. And I will say this: There is such a thing as a non-offending, anti-contact pedophile. That is a man or a woman who has an attraction to children, who has committed their entire life to never harming a child. And they reach out to us for help, and support, and treatment, to ensure they stay safe, and to ensure our community says safe. And you know what? I am going to help those individuals, because they are advocates for prevention.
Above all, our goal is: No more victims.
We’re not trying to normalize pedophilia. In fact, if you talk to a lot of individuals who have attractions to children or minors, they’ll say the same thing. People know that this is not a normal thing. This is not normal. People who have pedophilia are not waking up excited to be pedophiles. This is not something that people are eager to have. That is their experience. But what we know is, and the sex offender research community knows this, we gotta do something. You know, this is a population who finally we’re able to do some research on. This is a population who finally we’re able to do some treatment with, because they are coming forward to say, “help!” In the past, because so many haters and trolls were out there saying, “kill yourself,” and there was such a threat, there was such a big stigma and fear, that pedophiles wouldn’t come forward to get help.
And so, to me what I thought was, why would I turn people away that are asking me for help? Like that makes no sense to me. If I help people, that say, “help me,” you know, “I’m having these concerning fantasies, I I need support, I’m depressed, I’m struggling,” it makes sense in our global community, as part of a prevention effort, it makes sense to help that population. If you want to find out, read the research. Educate yourselves. Some of the most educated people, when they have seen these slanderous articles about our program, it’ll take a minute and they’ll read our website, and then they have no question. There’s no question at all. They have respect for us providing preventive interventions.
You know what our tagline is? “Prevention is the intervention.” It’s prevention. Prevention is the intervention. You know, I got really sick and tired over the last 20 years of working with trauma survivors, in all kinds of settings, all kinds of settings, for sex offenders who were in treatment after there was a conviction. Af- the trauma survivors were coming after, after they had experienced trauma. You know how different my life would be, had I, the people who wanted to offend against me and who, how many other kids when I was growing up, do you know how different my life would be had they had a preventative treatment program to attend? To get help? To figure out what was going on and actually intervene before they harmed me?
My life would be different. Perhaps I would have my own kids. So it’s 2018. We get to focus on prevention. I will tell you uh, in the next, not even decade, five years. I give you five years. The global community. And I challenge everyone that is listening to my podcast, in the next five years, we will absolutely be a global community of prevention. Every single state, in the United States, every country, will have prevention projects. We are huge advocates of Stop It Now! They are all over. B4U-ACT, in Maryland. Don’t Offend India. We’re so grateful that they’re out there in the world. And, you know, Meg and I literally just finished an entire chapter, all about the prevention projects globally. That is the new norm. We are no longer going to sit back and wait till children are harmed. And you know what, folks? Take this or leave it. Anti-contact, yep, anti-contact, non-offending, that means never have offended, never in their life have offended, pedophiles. They actually are advocates for prevention too.
And now I want to spend the rest of the time thanking those of you who have taken the time, in over 62 countries, to listen to our podcast, to listen to the brave and courageous individuals, whether you are an anti-contact pedophile that came on, whether you are an individual who committed a sex offense, got treatment, and educated the global community on what you learned so that you could never do it again and to hopefully prevent any more abuse, whether you are a researcher, or an advocate for prevention or program for prevention, we want to thank you. Not just those who were interviewed, for having the courage, but those of you that took the time to listen.
This is a resource. We are here for you. We are not going anywhere. Please, if you need help, go to https://thepreventionproject.org, contact us today. Look at our different programs. We have four different programs. We do a lot for prevention. Private community members, those that are legally involved, those on the autism spectrum, those who have different brain diseases, those that have mental illness, who have ended up in the criminal justice system, we work with individuals that are considered “johns,” um, and I did not create that quote, like a johns program, that’s what I’m referring to, please, if you need help, we are here.
I also want to take time and thank those of you who are anti-contact non-offending pedophiles, who have been such a support on our Twitter page, who have reached out, who have defended us, you have been advocates for prevention, there are truly too many of you to name, and I don’t want to leave anyone out. You are being an advocate for prevention, and we thank you. You are being an advocate for helping us disseminate our accurate information to the world, so that we can dispel some of the trolls. We thank you. I want to say to those researchers out there who are experiencing trolls and haters: Keep doing the research.
By doing research, we can come up with accurate treatment interventions, for not just minor-attracted persons, but all kinds of individuals who are in and out of the criminal justice system who need help, who have risky sexual behaviors. So don’t give up your fight to get accurate information. And then lastly I want to say thank you to individuals who email us, who share that we are giving you hope, those men and women who say without our podcast, without our program, you would’ve been literally dead on the side of the road, thank you. So I’m going to read an email. I don’t know if the individual will be okay with me saying their name, so out of respect for that person, I’m not going to say their name. But I want to thank you for sending this to us. It says:
Dear The Prevention Project: Although I have never felt attraction to any minor, I’m writing to say a huge thank you for the work you’re doing. With such a huge stigma around the issue, it takes a lot of courage to stand up and offer support. I’ve thought for years that the witch hunt and persecution mentality towards pedophiles is completely non-productive and inspires even more shame and alienation. I see that the solution to this being the same solution as for everything else: Love, compassion, kindness, and support. And the fact that you exist reaffirms my faith in humanity.
And you know what? to that individual who emailed us, it is these emails and those supporters of us, on our social media sites, and the individuals that we’re able to help, every single day, to keep our community safe, that keep us going. So with that, we thank you for listening. Take care.
Thank you for listening to this week’s podcast. Please visit http://thepreventionproject.org to learn more about our project and programs. Please remember to subscribe to our podcast at https://thepreventionpodcast.com or iTunes. See you next time!