What message are we sending to other sex addicts?
I have the utmost respect for our lawyers and judges. Some of the brightest and wisest minds sit on the bench. What is baffling to me is the lack of knowledge for some when it comes to the minds of child sex offenders. Or is it that they must use past cases — that could have been argued without real facts — to determine present judgments?
Those who are sexually attracted to children and act on that attraction commit a crime and are a risk to children. Laws protect our general safety and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people. We have these laws to help provide for our general safety, which includes little children.
Those who break laws are meant to be held responsible for their actions. Those who find comfort and pleasure in sexual images of children commit a crime and should be always held responsible. Children’s bodies are never meant to be used as a means of comfort or pleasure.
To think saying sorry, shedding a few tears and confessing will suddenly change the behaviour is pure ignorance and deception at its height!
Using naked images of innocent children to cope is either an illness, an addiction, or what some might call a disease! Ask anyone who treats addicts: 20,000 images of naked children over six years is, in my view, an addiction!
What message are we sending to other sex addicts who are attracted to little children? Is it “come up with a good reason/excuse/justification and you don’t have to be held accountable for the crime”? Or, perhaps, “Use this case as an example and you won’t be held accountable by going to prison?”
Why have laws if there are no consequences for breaking them? What we desperately need is for those who break them to be held responsible for breaking a law — prison time — and at the same time to be offered an opportunity to heal during incarceration.
The first part of that is confessing without making an excuse, a justification, or a minimisation!
That’s when you know someone is ready for assistance. But please remove them from their triggers until they are strong enough and are provided with the tools and strategies to do so, and are then managed and supported when they come out.
Why didn’t Wong Li-shan’s punishment include a deterrent from accessing child porn? Why wasn’t he at least banned from any form of future access to porn?
I sincerely hope Mr Wong is placed on a sex offenders list that is provided to every organisation around the world fighting cybercrime. If not, we better pray he can fix himself.
• Debi Ray-Rivers is the executive director of the child sexual abuse prevention organisation Saving Children and Revealing Secrets