Child Molestation - A National Crisis
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are four million pedophiles in the U.S. However, measuring is a tricky business, because many child molesters are not caught.
In fact, it's not known exactly how many people are pedophiles. But researchers are studying the problems and they say that child molestation is a major public health problem. If child molestation were a flu, it would be treated like an epidemic.
Dr. Gene Abel has directed six U.S. government research projects on sexual violence and published over 100 scientific papers on the subject, according to the CNN Special Report "Thieves of Childhood." He estimates that between one and five percent of our population molests children. Each child molester creates many, many victims. "A conservative figure would be at least 20 percent of all females and at least 7 percent of all males have been molested," notes Abel.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice is less conservative. It reports that one in four girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.
Some experts fear that most psychopaths (a category that includes child molesters) work in the shadows. Since they go undetected, the number may be far greater than anyone imagines. It's common knowledge that only the unlucky or unsuccessful psychopaths ever allow themselves to be put into a controlled environment, such as a prison or institution. (Source: High Risk: Children Without a Conscience)
Mr. X would still be abusing children if he hadn't made the mistake of leaving a home-made pornographic videotape in the camera he dropped off for repair. Investigators found that he had been involved with boys for many years. Yet he was the best loved coach in town. He often took boys on out-of-town trips. And he always invited boys to his house, where he was found to have been videotaping them swimming in the nude in his pool.
Clearly, child molestation is not restricted to the terrible, worst case examples that appear on the evening news. Pedophile "Mr. Y" tells us that these horrendous cases are an aberration. He says that there are millions of people out there with "our orientation" who lead normal, productive, healthy, law-abiding lives.
However, they only lead law-abiding lives on the surface. What we are dealing with is modern-day Jekyll-and-Hydes. They do, say, and act one way for the public, but behave in a very different, non-law-abiding way behind closed doors.
A report on child molesters in our prisons sheds light on the true personalities of these "tricky" people. Dr. Mace Knapp, Nevada State Prison Psychologist reported: "The criminal who seduces or rapes children is different from all other convicts, except for a certain type of killer. The serial killer has the same personality characteristics as the sex offender against children." Knapp added that sex offenders are usually the model prisoners, but that they are highly likely to continue preying on children. The worst case scenario is that they may start murderiing their victims to avoid returning to prison." (Source: "Pedophiles: America's Most Dangerous Criminals" by Ernest Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
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