Child abusers have dark thoughts first - that's when to intervene
We can protect youngsters if we concentrate on stopping ideas being turned into action, writes Paula Lawlor
Child sexual abuse and paedophilia are abhorrent to most people. They cause untold damage to victims who have lost their innocence and their childhood. The emotional and psychological scars run deep and are not easily healed.
Much effort has been expended in trying to find out why people prey on and abuse young people. Is it in their biochemistry or brain make-up, their upbringing or early sexual experiences, or have they been abused themselves?
The list of questions and possibilities is long. Many have worked tirelessly to develop and implement ways of working with those who have been convicted of such crimes to reduce the likelihood that they will offend again. Some of these approaches have been proven to be effective in some but not all cases. The reality is that this is an extremely complex issue with no single cause and no single solution.