Annie Brown: Time for adult discussion on paedophilia or continue to allow it to claim more victims

ANNIE says locking our kids up to keep them from the imaginary paedophiles in parks and swimming pools is a naive approach – paying attention to where they are going in cyberspace is not.

Channel 4
Eddie spoke about her attraction to girls as young as four on Channel 4’s controversial documentary
LAST night a controversial documentary featured a paedophile outing himself in the name of progress.
The lynch mob will no doubt already be seeking him out, preparing the noose, shopping for the constituent parts of a petrol bomb and spray-painting obscenities across his walls.
Naturally, Channel Four’s Paedophile Next Door has polarised opinion.
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood claim Eddie’s presence on TV was an 
insult to victims and urges us to “feel sorry for the poor misunderstood paedophiles”.
The NSPCC said it was a progressive step towards establishing a much needed system of treating paedophilia as a “public health problem”.
Quite how Eddie is going to survive his “outing”, we can’t be sure.
Vigilantism certainly won’t tackle the fundamental issue of preventing children from being abused.
We are so hysterical about this crime that we are dangerously blinded by our emotions.
It’s natural to be outraged by child abuse but as a society we have to accept responsibility for our part in the failure to protect kids from it.
We think driving them to school and keeping them from Santa’s grotto in a shopping mall is enough.
Locking our kids up to keep them from the imaginary paedophiles in parks, swimming pools and hedges is a naive approach.
Paying some attention to where kids are going in cyberspace is not.
Paedophilia is despicable, utterly unforgivable and it scars a victim for life but until we take a mature approach to it, we can never limit its impact.
We caricature paedophiles as monsters because otherwise we would have to confront the reality that they are human too.
Locking up ­paedophiles and throwing away the key is the only answer for some but in exceptional cases, treatment could be a ­solution.
There are those who see nothing wrong with their ­behaviour, deviants who will never change.
By their very nature, child abusers are sly and manipulative and treatment shouldn’t be an alternative to coming down hard on certain offenders.
But it does work for some. Perhaps those like Eddie, who has the self awareness to know that he is a ticking bomb.
He fears the only route to treatment is to live out his sordid fantasies, which he maintains he never would.
But you can’t stop a bomb from exploding until you understand its wiring.
Until we get inside the heads of the minds of people like Eddie, we can’t tackle the source of the problem whether it is a sociopathic condition or chemical disorder, even the experts can’t agree.
We should do everything we can for victims but if they become our sole focus, we won’t stop children becoming the victims of the future.
We fail miserably in this country when it comes to preventative action.
The hang ’em and flog ’em brigade are so busy gnashing their teeth they can’t hear the voices of sanity, which could truly protect our children.
It’s time to cut the hysteria and have an adult discussion on paedophilia or continue to allow it to claim more victims.

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