STOPSO BECAME A CHARITY BUT IS ABOUT TO CLOSE
On November 30th 2016 StopSO became a registered charity, but without more funds StopSO will have to close by the end of Febuary 2017. £3,500 is the bare minimum needed to remain operational for the next 2-3 months. If we can raise £80,000 and covers salary, running costs, and costs of training therapists. Within 3-4 years StopSO will be self-sufficient for operational expenses, so this crisis campaign is to fill a short-term need.
StopSO is offering therapy in the community, right across the UK, which provides potentially curative resources that should be universally available to every person at risk of committing a sexual offence (or re-offending). StopSO also offers therapy to those unacknowledged victims, the family members of sexual offendings.
PLEASE HELP STOPSO TO SURVIVE by supporting our 2017 Crisis Campaign
StopSO PROVIDES A NEW AND GROUNDBREAKING APPROACH TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE UK
We do not want child-abusers in our society, yet as a society we have done nothing to prevent paedophiles from becoming child molesters. The Specialist Treatment Organisation for the Prevention of Sexual Offending (STOPSO) has introduced a ground-breaking solution to this problem, offering therapy in the community.
HOW CLIENTS ACCESS THERAPY
A client who is worried about their sexual thoughts, or who has committed a sexual offence, contacts StopSO by phone, an online form, or email. StopSO acts as an agency, evaluating the client's issues and matching them with a StopSO psychotherapist or counsellor within a few days of the initial contact.
WHAT KINDS OF PERPETRATORS DOES STOPSO WORK WITH
StopSO works with all kinds of sexual offenders: from those who are worried about their thoughts, to people looking at online images, exhibitionists, voyeurs, child molesters, rapists etc. And their families. Our clients are self-motivated, 89% of them contact us themselves asking for help to stop.
WHAT DO CLIENTS WORK ON IN THERAPY
Most of the sex offenders we see at StopSO have had a very disturbed childhood. Therapy helps them: heal any underlying trauma that may have predisposed them to acting out in this way, build their self-esteem, understand their triggers, manage their dynamic risk factors and develop pro-social behaviour.
Currently, clients pay for their own therapy, making direct payments to their therapist.
STOPSO THERAPISTS ARE QUALIFIED AND TRAINED
StopSO invites already-qualified therapists, who are willing to work with sex offenders, to apply to join. They go through a rigorous application process which includes attending a minimum of three-days specialist training. StopSO has more than 200 therapists across the UK who are trained or in training. Therapists pay StopSO an annual membership fee of £50 and a referral fee of £20 per client.
WHAT IS THE SCALE OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
According to the NSPCC, almost one in four (24.1%) of young adults have experienced sexual abuse during childhood. Over 47,000 sexual offences against children were recorded in the UK last year. In 2012, nearly 30,000 offenders were on the Violent and Sex Offenders Register (ViSOR) for a conviction against a child. Yet in 2014 the National Crime Agency (NCA) estimated that there were 750,000 men in Britain with a sexual interest in children. There is a big discrepancy between the level of child abuse recorded by the police, and the NCA estimated number of offenders. This is because child sexual abuse is massively underreported.
THE COSTS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE TO THE UK
There are profound emotional costs for the victims of sexual abuse, and implications for an individual’s future health due to an increased risk of: mental health issues, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and suicidal behaviour. Add to this the financial costs to society of child sexual abuse, which the NSPCC estimated at £3.200 billion[i] per annum.
WE CANNOT LOCK ALL THE OFFENDERS UP
Currently, there are approximately 86,000 people in prison for all crimes. Put that against the NCA figure of 750,000 men with a sexual interest in children, and it is clear that we need new solutions, that go beyond locking them up. Even if we had space to imprison them all, most will eventually be released into society. Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey believes thousands on the police database "pose no threat" and don’t belong in prison. “We have to think about an alternative solution. [We] need to engage with service providers from mental health and the health service to work with us.” StopSO provides this service.
PREVENTING THE FIRST OFFENCE
Despite the numbers of victims of sexual offences, the re-offending rates for sex offenders is surprisingly low. According to UK government figures in 2012-3, the re-offending rate for theft was 40%. For sexual crime in the same year it was 12.1%, and for a serious violent and or serious sexual crime it was 0.4%. Since reoffending is so low, it is even more important to offer solutions in the community to stop the first sexual offence, as well as targeting the potential re-offenders.
StopSO’s client group includes what are known as ‘non-offending paedophiles’. These are people who fit the clinical definition of a paedophile, i.e. their primary or exclusive sexual desire is for prepubescent children – but they have never acted on this and they have never committed an offence. Jules Mulder of StopItNow! in Holland says that most paedophiles recognise their desires by the time they are twenty years old, but don’t act on them until they are thirty. Society has a ten-year window to intervene, and teach them strategies to remain law abiding. StopSO therapists help non-offending paedophiles to live lawful lives, preventing the first sexual offence.
OTHER ORGANISATIONS IN THE UK OFFERING HELP
No other organisation offers one-to-one therapy within a few days of the client asking for help, to those who have committed (or feel at risk of committing) a sexual offence, across the whole of the UK. Other UK organisations in this field include: Circles of Support and Accountability, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, StopItNow! helpline, Sex Offender Treatment Programmes, the Safer Living Foundation and the NHS.
PREVENTION PROJECT DUNKELFELD IN GERMANY
The German approach to the prevention of child abuse is to ensure that perpetrators feel safe enough to come forward for help. In Germany, therapists are obliged to maintain confidentiality. Their aim is to get all offenders (potential and active) on a course that will help to reduce the sexual abuse of children. Through their innovative programme, Prevention Project Dunkelfeld they offer 100% confidentiality and free-of-charge therapy, to child molesters and those viewing child abuse imagery. This is also offered to those who have not yet acted out but have troubling thoughts. Clients can speak openly about their desires and their crimes, knowing that there will be no legal repercussions. Staff at Project Dunkelfeld say this allows their clients (over 6,400 of them) to feel safe enough to come forward to access therapy.
OUR AIM IS THAT STOPSO PROVIDES SUBSIDISED THERAPY IN THE UK FOR SEX OFFENDERS
We propose StopSO becomes a UK version of Project Prevention Dunkelfeld. This could be a completely safe place where offenders (potential and active) can access subsidised therapeutic help. Until then, StopSO will continue to operate, and therapists will charge their clients for the service in the normal way.
WHAT STOPSO HAS ALREADY ACHEIVED
The benefits of the work that StopSO is currently doing are immeasurable. Without advertising our services, StopSO has already stopped hundreds of crimes. For every victim that is not created there are family members, partners and children who also will not be affected. For every StopSO client who does not act out, and does not need to go to prison, society is saving £65,000 (which is the cost of one year in prison including court costs and police time). To December 2016 StopSO helped 425 people. If one quarter of these would have gone to prison, StopSO has saved society almost £7 million.