Dear Dr. Archer,
Many people consider child abuse to be the unforgivable sin. I am currently building a following on Twitter, working with @StopItNow as an advocate to end child sexual abuse. I am an ex-offender of thirty years, and firmly believe that being part of the solution insures against being part of the problem.
I have posted lyrics on Twitter, along with the question, "Can reformed sex offenders help society to end child sexual abuse if given the chance? Isn't it worth a try?
I believe many of us could shed some light on the warning signs and on what went wrong in the first place by speaking to educators, social workers and concerned parents. What are your thoughts?
Even though statistics are stacked against the sex offender, anyone can be rehabilitated, even child sex offenders. It has been thirty years since your incident, and it seems that you are not only contrite and remorseful, but that you genuinely seek to save others from making the same mistakes you have made in the past. I commend you for putting yourself out there for the purpose of warning and protecting others.
One thing I want to see when someone engages in destructive behavior is what they do afterwards. Do they blame others for their actions, or do they take responsibility and change that behavior? Do they only change themselves, or do they try to be an example for others so others do not make the same mistakes? I absolutely believe in redemption, and it appears that you are trying to make a difference. I applaud your efforts, Pete.
I have read your words, and I find them unique. Perhaps pedophiles can change, but statistics so far strongly argue against that fact depending on the severity of the offense. Things that predict a poor rehabilitation are violence when committing the offence as well as the younger the child the less the likelihood of remission.
I have written a Blog
arguing that a violent sexual offence of a child should be a mandatory 25 year sentence and answered another Q and A
stating that pedophilia is not treatable, but of course there are exception and after 30 years you may indeed be one. However I still believe that in most cases the risk is just too great.
In light of this, I believe your site can be helpful to others while we also practice caution with the person who commits this sort of crime. Re-offending happens all too often, and one child being devastated by this type of senseless act in a relapse is one child too many. So keep that in mind Pete AND keep up the good work.