Who Is This "Predator" Who Sexually Assaults Children? Part IV

Sexually Abused child.
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By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”                                                                                                             Benjamin Franklin

So what is the true statistics on the recidivism rate on sexual offenders? Depending on who is performing the statistic, there may be the half full – half empty syndrome occurring. Too often research which is meant to be helpful can create discrepancies which mislead those who have the responsibility in monitoring the re-offending by the sexual offenders. Nationwide the recidivism rates vary as there is a different amount of recidivism studies. One authority on sexual abuse statistics stated, “60% of convicted sex offenders are on parole or probation…recidivism rates for crimes are high among sex offenders.”

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This statistic, if you believe it, does not represent an accurate or true accounting for sexual offenders.  The Office of Justice ProgramsBureau of Justice Statistics states the following about recidivism and sexual offenders:

Highlights include the following:
§  Within 3 years following their release, 5.3% of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime.
§  On average the 9,691 sex offenders served 3 1/2 years of their 8-year sentence.
§  Compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime.
§  The 9,691 released sex offenders included 4,295 men who were in prison for child molesting.

This was a study published in 1994 by Office of Justice Programs. In a 1992 study conducted by Ohio Prison Intake Personnel revealed that 2.2 percent of child molesters were strangers to their victims, and 89 percent of perpetrators had never been convicted before. In their 1993 textbook, The Juvenile Sex Offender, Howard Barbaree and colleagues estimated that teenagers perpetrated 20 percent of all rapes and half of all child molestations.

Further, a 2006 report for the Ohio Sentencing Commission said 93 percent of molestation victims were well known to their perpetrators, over half the offender’s victimized close relatives, and 93 percent of molesters had never been arrested for a previous crime.

A 2006 New York study analyzed the recidivism patterns for 19,827 sex offenders. The rate for new sex offenses after one year in the community was 2 percent. The cumulative rate increased to 3 percent after two years, 6 percent after five years, and 8 percent after 8 years. 

The various studies demonstrate that the reality reference sexual offenders are once they are incarcerated they seem to adjust to the outside world by recidivism rates being under 5%. Compared to other crimes, this could be one of the lowest recidivism criminals.

The problem with all of these studies is that there is no treatment for being a sexual predator. The recidivism rates tell me as a professional that many sexual offenders are arrested because they selected the wrong victim, or they wanted to get caught so they may receive sexual deviance therapy.

Sexual offenders understand that the risks for reoffending and when released from prison they return to a world of secrecy where there isolation from the general population is a reality. There are too many people who know that they are a sexual offender and the more exposure to those who know their sexual preference the more risks they run in being exposed.

The life of the sexual offender can’t be an easy one. The argument between are sexual offender’s born as sexual offenders or do they learn this behavior has been around since the beginning of time. Some of the characteristics which sexual offender’s demonstrate lead those who perform research on this topic to the professional opinion that being a sexual offender is learned behavior.

In the sexual addiction groups I lead weekly 80% of those who have a sexual addiction problem were sexually abused between the ages of 5-10 years of age. As they grew up they either began pursuing pornography and sexually assaulted younger children as they were sexually assaulted. It is difficult to understand the social process in which they lived through. They do not blame their current sexual addiction conduct on those who either sexually assaulted someone or fixated on pornography.

These men swear off the idea that they would sexually assault a child or even consider looking at child pornography. Still you have to wonder if they are minimizing their sexual involvement with children. Some of the sexual disclosures are 40 years old. The majority of the sexual assault information is 20-25 years old.

As a professional in the child sexual assault industry I find myself wondering just how serious are these sexually addicted men/women when it comes to the sexually assaulting of children. It is my professional opinion that sexual addiction has many boundaries which are blurred and if an individual becomes sexually stimulated will the addict have the ability to stop what their body has sexually started is a major question. My answer is “NO” as the compulsive, impulsive and dependent need for sex is just too great.

Tomorrow, the issues surrounding just who these “Predators” are continue to be a mystery. As we have seen today sexual addicted men and women have the same patterns of behavior as the “Predators”. There needs to be extensive research to understand where the lines between sexual addicts and “Predators” are.  With this in mind I will continue to research just who these “Predators” are and what they are all about. The sexual addict is an unknown and as we examine and evaluate the “Predators” I will continue to review just who they are as well.

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