In Puritan America, a married woman’s illicit affair with a minister landed her in jail. After her release, Hester Prynne was sentenced to forever wear a big red “A” on her dress. 

Nearly 375 years later, the U.S. continues to be scandalized, tantalized and perplexed by sex, especially about sex offenders. Tough on crime, we’re still struggling to learn: 

  • Why domestic violence and incest are so under-reported by victims? 
  • Why most people think every sexual offender is a serial rapist? 
  • Why, even among therapists, many continue to believe sex-offenders to be untreatable? 
  • Why supervision after offenders’ release tends to-wards punitive rather than restorative? 

It’s time to bring the subject of sex crime out of the dark ages, time to help victims shed the shame and trauma of their experience. It’s also time to allow offenders an opportunity to show they can change, make amends and start to earn back trust and acceptance from society.

Healthy Sexuality as Sexual Violence Prevention

Healthy Sexuality as Sexual Violence Prevention

"Healthy sexuality is not a part of our current cultural paradigm." If that statement surprises you, consider how it points to a deep bias in our culture, a bias against open, frank exploration of the topic among adults and adolescents.

A task force formed under the Oregon Attorney General's Office published a paper in which this problem is discussed. Click here to access that article.  

The task force defined healthy sexuality  as "the expressed capacity to understand, enjoy, and control one's own sexual and reproductive behavior." Among the "unhealthy rules" in our society, they listed "rigid gender roles, which commodify women and entitle men to nonconsensual sex, and community norms that make sex, including discussion and education, a source of shame to be hidden and avoided."

"By contrast," the authors added, "promoting the language and practice of healthy sexuality supports positive norms and practices that include gender and health equity, and prevention of all forms of sexual violence." The article then addresses: Changing Social Norms, Addressing Gender Roles, Educational Approaches to Encourage Open and Informed Discussion, and Gender and Halth Equity, Positive Communication, and Men's Engagement.

 

 

Incest - Pernicious, Traumatic, and Largely Unreported

Long Prison Terms with No Treatment Amounts to Warehousing

Long Prison Terms with No Treatment Amounts to Warehousing