Saturday, 4 November 2000

From "Weasel Words: Paedophiles and the Cycle of Abuse"

By Liz Kelly.

The separation of ‘paedophiles’ in much of the clinical literature on sex offenders from all men, but also other men who sexually abuse, has involved the presumption of difference. Similarities - in the forms of abuse, in the strategies abusers use to entrap, control and silence children - are ignored. In this way fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers who abuse are hardly ever suspected of being interested in the consumption, or production, of child pornography, nor are they thought to be involved in child prostitution. This in turn means that investigations of ‘familial sexual abuse’ seldom involve either searches for or questions about these forms of abuse. This contrasts with what we know from adult survivors who tell of relatives showing them pornography, expecting them to imitate it and being required to pose for it. Some also tell of being prostituted by relatives. A significant proportion of organised networks are based in families.

Who are the clients of children and young people involved in prostitution? I suspect only a minority would fit clinical definitions of ‘paedophiles’ - men whose sexual interest is confined to children.

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