Do you need help?

If you are wondering about your own sexual thoughts and behaviors toward children, we encourage you to answer these questions honestly. They are designed to help you decide whether you may need help. Take a few minutes to ask yourself the following twelve questions.

If you answer ‘yes’ to more than one question, we encourage you to seek help from a professional. You can also call the Stop It Now! Helpline for more information at 1.888.PREVENT.

Answer YES or NO to the Following Questions:

  1. Have you ever felt a sexual attraction to children or underage teenagers (a boy or girl 17 years old or younger)?
  2. Have you kept secrets from others about your attractions to children or underage teens?
  3. Have you looked at or purchased pornography that showed children or underage teens?
  4. Have you ever secretly watched children or underage teens (window peeping or voyeurism) or exposed yourself (exhibitionism) to children or underage teens?
  5. Have you bought children or underage teens gifts, offered favors, or given them money in order to get them to trust you and like you? If so, were you hopeful that you could touch them sexually, or get sexual good feelings from them?
  6. Have you shown pornography (or material that is sexual in nature) to children or underage teens, or intentionally left it where they could find it?
  7. Have you ever told yourself "age is just a number" or "he/she is mature for his/her age" or something similar to make yourself feel better about your sexual thoughts or behaviors toward children or underage teens?
  8. Have you ever wanted to stop either looking at child pornography or sexually fantasizing about touching children or underage teens -- but did it again?
  9. Do you find that romantic/sexual fantasies about, or sexual behavior toward, children or underage teens interfere with your relationships at home or work?
  10. Does your sexual attraction to children or underage teens conflict with your spiritual beliefs or moral values?
  11. Has your sexual attraction to children ever left you feeling worried, frightened, ashamed, hopeless, different, alienated from others, or suicidal?
  12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you were not sexually attracted to children or underage teens?

How You Can Find Confidential Help

Stop It Now! has a confidential toll-free Helpline. If you are concerned about your sexualized thoughts or behaviors towards children, you can call the Stop It Now! confidential, toll-free Helpline at 1.888.PREVENT. No caller ID is used on this line. Call for available hours.

For more than 10 years, our national Helpline has provided a confidential place for thousands of people to speak about a subject that they thought was unspeakable. We offer a chance for adults to voice their personal fears about their own or someone else’s sexualized thoughts or behavior toward children. Often our callers indicate that they have never spoken these words out loud before.

If you are thinking about sexual interactions with a child, Helpline staff will assist you in finding the help you need to keep yourself and children safe. If you have already sexually abused a child or if you are unsure about whether what you have done is illegal, Helpline staff will help you learn about taking next steps to stop and be able to take responsibility for your behavior.

Adapted with permission from Stop It Now! Minnesota, www.stopitnow.org/mn.

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