Open letter to mr. B. Korthals, Dutch Minister of Justice

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By: Martijn Association

Dear Minister,

The MARTIJN Organization hereby protests against the ministerial plans to inform people who are regarded victims of pedophile sexual offenses of the date of release from prison of the offender, and of the address that the offender chooses to live at upon his release. We think that the following matters are important and need to be reconsidered by the government:

  • Firstly, the proposal in question applies to all offenses that are punishable by four years at the most. It fails to focus on the seriousness of each individual case. This makes for a distorted picture of the various people who, as offenders, would be affected by the proposal.
  • Secondly the proposal constitutes the separate treatment of pedosexual offenders from other sex offenders whichever sexual inclination. This is discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference.
  • Thirdly, the proposal constitutes a 'second punishment' of a group of people who have already been punished by law. This weakens our constitutional state.
  • Fourthly in the event that people who are regarded victims (of pedophile sexual offenses are given the information; who or what will keep these people from raising a consternation that may the former offender? What sanctions will be imposed on people who raise a consternation under such instances?

If the proposed measures creates a situation in which people are exposed to certain dangers, the law should also provide measures that guarantee a reasonable protection of these people. The argument that invariably accompanies proposals as the one addressed here is that the interest of the children prevails over the interest of the constitutional state. It has been determined, however, that a mere four percent of pedosexual contacts are psychologically damaging to children (research Bauserman, Tromovitch and Rind). Sixty percent later claims not to mind the contacts. Thirty-six percent fondly look back on the pedophile partner from their youth.

We have no reason to object to any proposal that aims to inform victims of the release and whereabouts of people whom it has been proven have committed violence, and whose personality types show them to have aggressive natures - these are the criteria that should be used, instead of whether or not an offender is a pedophile.

MARTIJN Organization

source: 'Open Letter to Mr. B. Korthals, Dutch Minister of Justice' by Martijn Association; OK Magazine, no. 72; April 2000