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.

Time Magazine Cover Story on Sex Offender Therapy

Eliana Dockterman wrote a cover story about sex offender treatment (or therapy). It is well worth the read, as it covers a lot of ground that is important in understanding this very complex crime, as well as the judicial and social biases against those who commit sex crimes. Below are a couple of quotes from the article. Here's the link to the whole story.

There isn’t one standard method for treating sex offenders. But many experts have come to agree that identifying motivations and thought patterns is essential. 

Recent research published by the American Public Health Association suggests that focusing on punishments rather than positive goals can actually increase the chance of recidivism. In 2006, the Department of Justice endorsed more progressive methods such as the Good Lives Model, which aims to teach people how to fulfill their emotional and physical needs without hurting others. That includes challenging sexist behaviors and skewed social views that lead them to hurt other people.

The 10th Annual NARSOL Conference is This Week

The 10th Annual NARSOL Conference is This Week

The Magic of Victim-Offender Reconciliation

The Magic of Victim-Offender Reconciliation