Imagine, if you will, getting sent to a job where a 15 year old boy is threatening suicide. You turn up at the address and discover that it is a care home. Meeting with one of his carers she hands you a list of the boy's medications and it reads like a 'Who's who' of psychiatric drugs. You talk to the boy, and he seems calm, collected and very polite. He explains that he wants to jump out of a window and kill himself, and agrees that he would like to go to hospital. You take him into the paediatric department of a local hospital. As this does not feel like the normal “Teenager wants to kill themselves” you have a chat with the children's nurse and you ask them to let you know what happens to the patient. You leave, and continue with your shift. The next day you ask the children's nurse about the patient and she tells you – “The boy wanted to die because he wants to have sex with, and kill small children – and that he knows that it is wrong”.
I hate paedophiles as much as any other member of society – but in front of me that day, I saw a victim.

13 thoughts on “Victims”

  1. Try redaing 'Lolita'. It looks more at the frame of mind of the man than the abuse of the child. Makes you realise that, like this kid, people whose desires and needs are considered sick and perverse by society are in fact victims of that same society. I wonder why he felt the need to kill them, because he did or because this was the best way not to get caught?

  2. Disclaimer: I'm not in any way medically qualified, just an interested bystander.It seems to me this kid could equally well have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Google for it if you want more information), with the intrusive obsessive thoughts in this case centring on child abuse (which is a relatively common OCD symptom, I believe).

    This is opposite from paedophilia: OCD obsessions often focus on acts you'd never ever want to do, which is why they cause so much pain. As a result of the conflict between themselves and the “ego antithetic” thoughts, some sufferers are driven towards suicide.

    Just my $0.02. Either way, your kid was a victim.

  3. “he wants to have sex with, and kill small children”Bloody hell, putting him in the paediatric wing isn't a good idea then :-O

  4. Tremendous post, Tom. I used to work in an inner-city care home for teenagers, and one of our residents was in a similar position. He was sixteen and had been found having various sexual interactions with his younger siblings and their friends, who were three to six years old, so as a result he was housed with us. I too saw a victim. He had had the most hideous life, I remember him telling me very matter-of-factly about one time his dad got really angry and, in front of him, pulled the legs off his pet dog. I really struggled to maintain my professional composure on that occasion when I just wanted to throw up and scream. This was in the days when people weren't allowed to be mad until they were 18, so there was no support for him but us, and I don't think we were able to help much. I think about him sometimes and wonder where he is now, what kind of life he has. I have absolutely no sympathy with the actions of paedophiles, but I doubt many if any of them start out as purely evil beings; I think most if not all, like the lad you met and the one I knew, are victims first. I know this is an unpopular view and I have often been accused of being a bleeding-heart liberal for espousing it. But it's too easy to brand people like paedophiles 'other', and refuse to see in them the humanity that we do in fact all share.

  5. Yeah, he ended up in a more specialist unit on the other side of London, and I think that this might be the pattern for the rest of his life…

  6. Wow.It sounds trite, but for all the awfulness of it, at least he understood that it is wrong.

    He might need treatment for the rest of his life, but if he retains that core of horror against his urges, chances are he'll be more motivated to keep up the treatment and try and control it.

    What would be so much worse would be if he gave up and didn't try to fight it.

    I really hope he gets the help he needs.

  7. more discussion like this is essential – we need a public debate on this subject – people must move past their reactions, and any incidents like this being relayed and presented to the public can only help to encourage rational discourse – thanks

  8. What an utterly surreal scenario.Quite obviously his urges are wrong but I feel for that young man. He is the victim of the war that is being waged in his mind. I guess there is hope as he knows that it is wrong but will he ever be able to live a “normal” life?

  9. As a survivor of CSA, I can understand this dilemma, a kid of 15, twisted and out of his mind due to probably continual abuse, doused with drugs to numb the pain of having his childhood robbed by an animal or animals who creep the Earth robbing the innocence from little boys, and girls.People who rant and rave about childhood sexual abuse cannot even really understand the hurt we really have to face, as a boy, who has to be so strong in the World, I lost my childhood at 11yo raped of my innocence.

    That was 40 years ago, but I never carried on the cycle of abuse.

    When a child has psychological boundaries taken away by force and made to do degrading acts against his/her will, it really has a profound effect on their will to survive.

    They are taken away from their innocent beautiful minds, into a World of darkness and despair, nobody but nobody can really understand the deep despair a kid goes through.

    This kid, should not be given a chemical cosh, he needs serious help, unfortunately, there are not many therapists who know how to really deal with such tragedy, yes he is a survivor, and he needs so much help to reassure him that his life is worth living.

    I can say to any reader who cannot understand this. Be me for a day, when I was 11yo, and I don't think they could stand being in there. Witness the hurt, be the child who is no more the child, his childhood only exists through hurt.

    When I was abused, I really thought I was going to die, but then again, maybe I did, because they steal the very soul of little kids.

    Essentially, they do kill off the little kid, so he grows into a man, he has to invent so much of his life through the perception of the abuse, and really not knowing really who he was meant to be.

    The dynamics of male child abuse is seriously misunderstood, because little boys don't report it, and there are so many reasons for that.

    Think about this scenario, a common one but nothing to do with my abuse, as I was raped by a stranger, but imagine a boy, who befriends a man, and the man coerces him into oral sex, the boy will never see it as SA, even though it was, why? Because he may have enjoyed it, so he will not tell.

    The man is at fault here, because he groomed the boy, but the boy becomes the victim, he takes all the blame, the phrase in the kids mind will always loop around and say. I enjoyed it, so I must have wanted it.

    The man then goes on to do even more degrading acts, the natural relationship of a child so young is twisted in his mind, he expects pain in relationships, he never evolves to be the adult he was meant to be.

    My main emphasis is on the male perspective here, as it is so much harder for a boy to report abuse, because they know that the perp can always say, hey why were you so hard if you did not enjoy it, this is they key thing that sticks in the kids mind.

    The kid will never think, hey, even though I enjoyed it, it can be seen as abuse, but it it, and it haunts many abused boy throughout his life.

    If you want to know more visit

    and see just how much they F**k up lives

  10. I think it's all been said already.We 'breed' these people then readily condemn them. Sure some of 'them' just happen to turn out that way, but that's the scant minority.

    I long for a reasonable middle ground in these situations, somewhere between bleeding heart liberalism, and the “hang him high” brigade. Wherever that is, it needs to start with compassion.

    As has been pointed out, the fact that he is horrified is the glimmer of hope that he can be helped. I wish him all the best.

  11. Everyone is saying that this kid is a victim. I agree, but not necessarily in the way everyone else seems to be thinking. I get the impression that other commenters, and even Reynolds, has already dismissed this boy as a paedophile without a second thought. If everyone he comes into contact with takes this view, this kids life is as good as over. Let me elaborate a little.If our 15 year old boy wants to have sex with a 14 year old girl, many people would not consider that boy a paedophile. His behaviour would be dismissed as normal adolescent behaviour. The difficulty is in drawing the line. Is our 15 year old interested in pre-pubescent children? If so, perhaps there is some cause for concern, but even then, I would say it is very arguable.

    I'm sure all the males here can vouch for the fact that the average 15 year old boy has such a huge amount of hormones running through his system, quite literally anything will set him off thinking about sex. This particular 15 year old boy has a slight difference to many – he is in care, therefore virtually all his social contact is going to be with other children around his age and, importantly, younger. Let's now factor in the emotional bond that can easily be formed between peers in such a situation. In fact, while we're making allowances, let's allow for the fact that many sexual fantasies involve people we know, and chances are good that most of the people this kid knows are going to be younger than him.

    It's at this point that the current social climate comes into play. Having unpure thoughts about young children is a huge no-no in todays society, even if the one doing the thinking is also a child. As a result, our adolescent is going through an emotional roller coaster dealing with his feelings, and societies views on them.

    So yes, our adolescent is a victim of society's current paranoia. However, I'm not convinced he is actually doing anything wrong. He may well find that, as he comes to experience the outside world, his fantasies will change drastically. He could just as easily find that he simply grows out of these fantasies. At the moment, he is clearly feeling bad about simply having fantasies, which leads me to believe that he has no wish to make these fantasies real.

    To be honest, I think this child needs a chance to grow out of his hormones before being condemned as a paedophile. As it stands, if he goes for 'help' now, I can't help feeling that his life is already ruined.

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