This is a very important question. It’s a question that many people have, and for those who are wondering about a person who used or abused them, it can be a question that’s struggled with for years.
Of course we can’t simply answer this question. But we can offer, based on years of experience and study, some information and reflections on this sensitive issue.
There we make some basic points, and some more subtle and complex ones, that we hope you will find useful. To give you a sense of the page, here are its main headings:
- Why Ask Why?
- Wanting to Understand (or Not) Depends on One’s Experiences and Feelings
- No Simple Answers – But Some Common Features
- Understanding Is Not About Excuses or Forgiveness
- Understanding Is Not About ‘Demonizing’
- People Who Sexually Use or Abuse Children Are Complex – And Deeply Confused
- There’s No Single Path to Sexually Using or Abusing a Child
- The Other Person’s Experience and Understanding Now
- Children and Teenagers Who Sexually Use or Abuse Other Children
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If you have questions or need help, we have 24/7 Online Support.
We offer several resources, including guidance about how to select an appropriate therapist or consultant, in Get Help and through the Online SupportLine, which we hope will be useful to you in finding effective treatment, getting personalized recommendations for services or to discuss personal issues.
Because 1in6 does not provide direct service to individuals, we are unable to offer that kind of exchange through our feedback response below.