Sexual Predators

A clinical response to sexual predatory behavior.

I practised some discretion before writing this blog, as I am well aware this subject involves many complex issues and difficult feelings. I commend the incredibly powerful and courageous individuals for standing up and being counted on this issue, and for challenging this behavior.

As we witness numerous influential male figures being exposed for their sexual predatory behavior, we need to rethink what describes a predator today. I believe predation is not the work of a small subsection of society. Sexual assaulters come in many forms and the definition spans beyond the conventional definitions associated with sex addiction; therefore clinical treatment is vastly different among persons exhibiting predatory sexual behavior vs individuals struggling with sex addiction and/or hyper sexuality.

Please note, I share these conclusions expressed from my own professional experience and is applied cautiously, as I have not made any clinical assessment of the accused. My point of view stems from a background in forensic work, the criminal justice system, and multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA)working with prison release persons who remain a risk to community. I worked to provide public protection and ensure there are no more victims; the core principal is safety for all. And notably, some forms of predatory behavior are considered untreatable and the individuals are to be kept in that secure environment for life’s term, therefore appropriate assessment and proper care management is essential. From experience we know the issue of treatment requires a necessary secured setting for all cases. So, I pose the question: Does admitting these sex offenders pose a threat to the others in these sex programs?

We recently watched numerous high profile actors and movie industry professionals being admitted to treatment facilities with no forensic remit. Are the safety mechanisms in place, as in forensic hospitals? Are those patients at risk, while sexual predators are admitted to the same care facility? We know these people admittedly built their personal empires on manipulation and control from gained access to vulnerable people. This behavior is vastly different from sex-addiction in my experience. There is a big distinction here. The diagnosis looks to be deemed as narcissistic sexual predation.

Whatever comes out of the situation, my principal point here is, this type of predation needs to go through the criminal justice system and if necessary, a secure treatment must be given and it should not be set-up to be managed by mainstream treatment facilities. I bring these comments to light knowing these are wider social cultural issues, yet one issue remains; safety is a crucial issue.

I welcome your comments on this complex and sensitive topic.

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