Germany is promoting a social campaign for persuading pedophiles – including those who have abused children – to undergo confidential therapy. The program aims to help pedophiles, many of whom struggle to avoid becoming criminals, and above all to protect children.
The radical treatment for pedophiles, called Project Dunkelfeld (“Darkfield”), has grown in Germany, with 11 centers now open across the country. More than 400 pedophiles who have never abused children have attended this program (the term “pedophile” refers only to the sexual attraction to minors, rather than the act of abuse.) The program aims to prevent sexual abuse of youngsters, as it catches pedophiles before they commit the crime.
“It is a disease, it is a trait, it is not a choice. They haven’t chosen to change, but they can learn how to live responsibly with their sexual desires,” Petya Schuhmann, a psychologist at the project, told the Independent.
The first step of the program is to analyze a patient’s past sexual behavior and feelings in order to figure out further strategies of avoiding potentially abusive situations in the future. The doctors note that, for some men, the recipe may be pretty simple — never being alone with children, for example. Other tactics may involve changing attitudes, helping the patient to grasp that sexual contact with children can never be consensual.