Chris was a 14-year-old boy scout. Gary – the leader of the scout group – was an adult. They were very close, and eventually decided to move their relationship to the physical level. On Chris’s suggestion, they both had sex. It was Chris’ first time.
Chris as a teenager was confused about this sexual encounter, and eventually told a counselor he thought he could trust about the experience. The counselor reported the incident to the police.
Chris insisted Gary did not exploit him, however the counselor disregarded his feelings – insisting that Gary was a 'pervert' – had 'used him' – and needed to be 'locked up'.
The police came and grilled Chris for 6 hours – harassing him until he told the police everything. Gary was convicted and sentenced to 3 months in county jail and one year probation.
The incident emotionally scarred Chris. After suffering 12 years of pain, he’s finally coping. To make amends, he tried to find Gary, even hiring a locator service. But it seems Gary had left the country – and has a new family in Germany.
‘Gary did nothing wrong. All of the sexual relations that took place did so at my insistence - he even repeatedly made sure I was still willing to go ahead. Some people would say that I was not mature to make decisions about sex at that age. To them I say: Bullshit! I was not a stupid child. … For once in the 'pedophile' argument, there needs to be the say of the real people involved - the young people who are not stupid, but are caring, loving, sensitive people with feelings who can make decisions for themselves.‘ - Chris as an adult
As the story shows, making sexual acts with children illegal – harms children. Placing a child’s partner in prison not only causes the child to experience guilt for feeling like he was responsible for ruining the adult’s life, but also the pain of having someone the child loves – taken away from him. This kind of experience is traumatising – especially for a child – a pain that they won't be able to get over for years, causing them to feel depressed, and even suicidal. Ironic that many people claim that they want to imprison pedophiles to prevent child abuse, when the act of imprisoning a pedophile can leave emotional scars on a child very similar to that of abuse – doesn't it?
And of course, let’s not forget the harm it causes to pedophiles. They could face 10-30 years of prison. And when they're released – they’ll have a record on the Sex Offender Registry – which prevents them from getting a job, a house – as well as having their personal information (name, picture, type of offense etc.) released to the public on websites. This lasts not just for a few years after the pedophile has served prison – but for life.
To defend pedophiles means to defend consensual sexual acts with children. Pedophilia is simply a sexual attraction to children a person is born with. So of course, having a sexual attraction to someone underage – doesn’t automatically mean they’d want to cause any harm. Any type of sexual act with a child that is harmful – like ones that involve manipulation or force – and with those mentally incapable to consent to sex (most children ages 4-7, babies) – should obviously be illegal. And for most under 13 who aren't physically capable of handling penetration – sexual acts should obviously be restricted to being non-penetrative (hugging, kissing, mutual masturbation etc.).
Of course there’s a risk of mistreatment if a pedophile is in a relationship with a child. However there’s a risk of abuse in any kind of sexual relationship – whether it’s between 2 adults or with a child – and the reason why we continue taking part in these bonds is because abuse happens only to a small minority of cases.Most pedophiles don’t harm children – they enter into a sexual interaction with a child out of attraction – and love.
It is estimated that one in five men show some attraction to children – and that for 0.5 to 5% of all males – this attraction is preferential. Female pedophiles exist as well – though in a smaller number. That means there are probably as many pedophiles as there as gays -and there are 10s, probably 100s of millions of pedophiles around the world – who are completely innocent – yet are treated with hostility from society, guilt for having their sexual attraction, the fear of having their lives completely ruined if they’re found out, and a feeling of danger that at any time – they could be imprisoned – or even killed. All of this, happen not because having a sexual attraction to a child is bad – but because most people think that it is.
The injustice pedophiles face – needs to end. We need to remove laws that penalises sexual acts completely based on age – so that a pedophile who never caused any harm to a child would never be unfairly imprisoned. And more importantly, we need to end the hatred and discrimination society has towards pedophiles – so that both children and pedophiles – can finally feel accepted – safe – and free to love.
Specific: Pedophile Rights Activism Helps Children
Related: Have a Good Political Purpose