Not knowing what might happen next makes it hard to reach out for help
Sometimes people who have been sexual with children are afraid to reach out for help because they don't know what might happen to them or their family. Child sexual abuse is a crime and must be dealt with through the child protection and criminal justice systems. Those who have offended can learn about what to expect from these authorities by speaking confidentially with an attorney. Families can also ask questions to a sex-specific therapist who specializes in working with adults who have acted sexually towards a child. When someone who has been abusive to a child begins conversations with a therapist they will also learn about the limits to the confidentiality they can offer.
Possible legal consequences
Orders from the court may include mandates for sex-specific treatment, residential changes, or supervision by law enforcement. Restricted access to certain individuals or age groups may also accompany a charge or conviction. Possible legal consequences may also include probation, incarceration/imprisonment, financial penalties or fines, and/or public registration.
Coming forward shows responsibility
Although it can be impossible to predict the outcomes of the criminal justice system, once a legal professional or sex-specific therapist knows more about what has occurred he/she can provide information about what to expect if the person abusing were to come forward. Admitting to the harm done and accepting responsibility for his/her behavior may be considered favorably by the criminal justice system.
Adults who offend can learn to control risky or dangerous behavior
Beginning therapy with other adults who have similar sexual problems is often the best first step -- and may be considered in an offender’s favor when there’s a legal response. By connecting to specialized help you get a chance for a new start towards a more productive life which can include relief from living a double-life, a life of secrecy and shame, a life of feeling out of control and wishing things were different.
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- Recognizing Warning Signs
- Definitions of Child Sexual Abuse
- How Abuse Happens
- Understanding Sexual Behavior in Kids
- Warning Signs in Adults and Children
- Warning Signs of Abuse in Children (Behavioral and Physical)
- Signs an Adult May be At-Risk to Harm a Child
- Behaviors to Watch Out for When Adults are with Children
- How Can I Tell if My Child Has Been Sexually Abused?
- Warning Signs a Young Person May Be a Target of Online Sexual Abuse
- Warning Signs of Someone's Dangerous or Illegal Online Activity
- Prevention and Safety
- Keys to Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children
- Creating a Plan for Safety
- Considering Filing Reports
- Talking About It
- Finding the Courage to Speak Up
- Speaking to Someone with a Sexual Behavior Problem
- When a Child Tells About Sexual Abuse
- How Should I Respond to the Child?
- What Should I Do after a Child Tells?
- How Can I Better Understand What My Child is Going Through?
- Possible Reactions of Non-Offending Parents and Caring Adults
- Is the Child Telling Me the Truth?
- What Might the Person Who Has Offended Be Thinking or Feeling after a Disclosure?
- Recovery and Therapy
- For Children and Adults Who Have Been Abused
- For Those At-Risk to Abuse Others or Who Have Offended
- For Parents and Caregivers
- Reporting and Legal Issues
- Filing Reports
- Child Protective Services and Police
- Legal Issues