Offenders are not the troll under the bridge or the man in a trench coat in front of a schoolyard with a puppy. We are members of your family. We are people you know and trust. We are people who have access to your child.

I write this as an offender in recovery, a professional clinician of twenty-eight years and a victim of childhood sex abuse. Five of the seven years I spent in prison was in treatment with hundreds of offenders.

My photo appeared on the front page of the local newspaper under the headline “Local Therapist Molests Child.” My family was devastated, my victim in therapy, and my colleagues embarrassed. The community was in an uproar. With an otherwise clean record, I pleaded guilty and went to prison.

During my incarceration, a prison counselor informed me of the voluntary sex offender treatment program. He said it was tough and only half the inmates made it through. I applied hoping I would receive the answers and help I sought. It took me over five years to complete the program.

I left prison with the answers to my questions, a new understanding of myself, and a clearer mind. It was from my long and arduous journey into my darkest moments and my fellowship with others traveling down similar roads that I gained the core information about myself and the fundamental nature of the male offender. The knowledge I had was unique; making it available to parents became my goal and part of my recovery.

In my blogs, I will be covering a range of topics dealing with abuse, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), offenders and victims, and how to defend against sociopaths and narcissists. Gaslighting, blame, changing the topics, twisting reality and other forms of crazy-making and mental abuse will be covered. I will discuss how to combat this and walk away sane.

In my book, The Parent’s Guide to Protecting Children from Pedophiles, I include the psychological complexities of the offender, why we find children attractive and want sex with them, what drives us to commit this horrific act, and what brings these twisted notions into our minds.   

The stories expose the behaviors, guises, and ruses of offenders. Profiling us is not possible as offenders cross all strata of society. What is possible is spotting the many red flags, such as sexualizing children. “This birthday party has some sexy five-year-olds.” “That is a pretty hot eight-year-old!”

Another red flag is associating with children to the exclusion of our own family and making excuses and reasons to be alone and isolated with a child.

Our make-believe and denial, twisted thoughts, our self-righteous, narcissistic indignation, accusations and anger, our “pretend-normal,” bizarre defenses, empty promises, and fake tears are clearly pointed out. This will not be easy to face as it may trigger memories long ago buried, and you may identify someone you know, a family member, or someone in your own home.

I present current data showing our low rate of re-offending. We can and do recover, and can successfully reunite with our family, be gainfully employed and become contributing members of our community.

Accounts of female offenders are omitted from this work as I have had no adult interaction with them; this is not an oversight. I can say from my numerous meetings with survivors of female offenders, that female offenders are largely underreported and escape view under the misbelief that mothers, aunts, women, would never do that. And if they do?

Their male victims are often told with a wink and a nod, how lucky they were to have had sex at age nine with a thirty-year-old aunt. Their female victims are silenced through fear of disbelief, shame and lack of protection.

I consider anyone who watches child pornography an offender. Someone raped a child to make that photo or film and whoever is watching that film is supporting, contributing, enabling and approving it. They are also committing a felony.

Disclosing my victim’s identity, or anyone’s identity, or any personal information beyond the scope of this material is a violation of others and serves no purpose. I have refrained from graphic, sexually explicit details as they are unnecessary and distracting. Abuse is abuse.

I wrote this book anonymously out of respect for the safety and privacy of my victim and my family, and for those who remain my friends and associates.

The stories I’ll tell are true. I have changed names, certain locations and obvious identifiers to protect those men who came forward with incriminating and humiliating information in an effort to keep children safe.

Persons demonstrating behaviors and mindsets that I describe do not prove an offender or pedophile. All things must be taken in context; there must be evidence. To condemn a person otherwise is cruel, harmful and destroys lives.

If you suspect your child has been sexually violated, talk with your child, contact the authorities, and consult a pediatrician. Be safe! Protect your children, listen to your children. Follow your gut instinct.

Sex abuse is not normal.

I am reminded of a young man who confessed to his mother that during his childhood his older brother had molested him for years.

“Oh, son,” she replied, “all brothers do that.”

There is no excuse for abuse.

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Offender in recovery. Advocate for preventing ACEs

I show ways to recognize the behaviors of sex offenders and breakthrough their feigned innocence, denial, blaming, and excuses.

Authors express their own opinions which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Stop Abuse Campaign.