Fight the good fight

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By: Rob K.

Where in the seventies pedophilia was an almost accepted sexual preference, it today has the same negative undertone as child pornography, child prostitution and incest. In classical antiquity it was completely established and approved of; whereas today people don't have a good word to say about it. Pedophilia is classified as one of the paraphilia, so it can be found in the same list as exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, and voyeurism. That's quite something... Apparently, according to psychologists there is something wrong with my brain, I have a defect, and even a permanent one! We are seen as a realistic threat, a danger to society. The other day I read: "The slogan 'incarcerate pedophiles for life!' evokes little amazement, and an incidental, emotional, 'They should all be killed' is also met with understanding." It's not quite the kind of news that makes you happy. More and more methods to make our lives harder become acceptable. There are local residents who may harass us until we leave the neighborhood; there are fathers who are eager to 'inform us of the truth'; there are the media who twist the facts, and so forth. We rank lowest in prison hierarchy, and I've heard that even within the NVSH (Dutch organization for Sexual Reformation) people are having a hard time accepting us.

Then Rind, Bauserman and Tromovitch (see OK no.67) came with their research. Was there another glimmer of hope? It was a sound, well-founded scientific research based on facts and carried out by researchers who are worthy of their titles. Could science be the means to defend ourselves? Could it make us keep ours heads above water, and earn us a higher legal status?

Alas, this has proven to be vain hope. It is shocking to learn how the research was received in the United States. The state of Alaska has adopted a resolution which declares how bad sex with children is. It also states how bad and immoral it is to publish different opinions. Alaska has urged Congress, president Clinton and some more bigwigs to do something about the research and to have better scientific research carried out which will yield better results (that is, results they will be able to agree with). So the research results were not taken seriously and rejected. They have even become the object of a political game, where the contestants try to gain as many votes as possible. One of these contestants is Gary Bauer. He is one of the leaders of the Family Research Council, a rather right-wing crew. Gary Bauer is also a candidate for the US presidency, so he is obviously after voters. The discussion has become very public and political, which, I would say, rather hampers its objectivity. And now? Should we carry on our activities underground and keep silent before the shit hits the fan here as well? Or should we abstain completely from sexual behavior, or make do with masturbation behind closed curtains (because who knows, a child might walk by...)?

I think that by shunning the problem - conflict with society - we are allowing ourselves to be suspected and blackened more and more. It won't be easy, but we must try and prevent this from happening. Paul wrote, "Fight the good fight of faith..." (1 Tim. 6:12a). Where there is battle, there are victims. I personally think of R, B and T, who are going through a very difficult stage. It is too dangerous for them to show up in public anymore...

Let's not throw in the towel, but instead keep fighting for justice! In this struggle, we also need to be prepared to look at ourselves in a fair way. In an article by Nelleke van der Heiden I read that about one quarter of the sexual contacts between adults and children take place under the influence of alcohol and drugs! In the newspaper de Volkskrant psychologist Staffeleu wrote: "I've never met an offender who said, 'Jesus, what have I done to this child.' They all trivialize the abuse." The latter may be a logical reaction to society's exaggerated attitude, but the first quote is rather alarming. Of course I don't know if it's true, but I do know that alcohol and drugs make one throw caution to the winds. You can compare your emotions to a horse; a beautiful, strong and proud animal. With the reins we guide the horse, otherwise it will go its own way. These reins are our ratio. If we block our ratio by using alcohol and drugs, the horse can't be stopped anymore and anything may happen. So please, good people, be careful with that. We should also keep asking ourselves if any sexual contact in a particular relation would be responsible. The psychiatrist and sexologist G. Roelofs names five conditions. By all means do take them seriously. According to Roelofs, a responsible sexual contact should meet the following conditions:

  • 1) The erotic contact should not exceed the limits of what the child's psychological-sexual development can cope with.
  • 2) The child should consent to the contact and be aware of the consequences.
  • 3) The parents should be informed of and agree with the contact.
  • 4) The child should not be isolated from his/her friends.
  • 5) The child should be able and should dare to talk about the contact freely.

Let us keep encouraging each other in the struggle and the path of life we've chosen to walk. Let's keep hoping for a better future. I am praying with the words of Jan Nooter:

"Give us peace, Lord, give us peace,
the world only desires struggle.
Although justice is done,
the strongest win the day.
Injustice rules on earth,
the lie triumphs,
it stains every value,
oh save us, strong Lord."

source: 'Fight the Good Fight'; Letter to the editor by Rob K.; OK Magazine, no. 70; October 1999