Note: I received a private email from a convicted paedophile in regards to this column. He believes that I was unfair to expect that an abuser knows when they first abuse that what they are doing is wrong. Much like a drink or gambling addict. Let me know your thoughts below?

I made a fairly off coloured joke a few weeks back to a friend when talking about a course I was leaving, to do in the beautiful Uluru.

I told her I was off to “find myself”, as part of this spiritual development course, to which she replied, “Wow, you’re brave, opening that door!”

Having explained that from my understanding, of what was part of the course, we’d be looking into our personal history, and our family, to learn how these factors had influenced our life.

So I said, “Yeah, well who knows, I might found out I’d been sexually abused…?.”

I startled myself, as making light of such a thing was certainly not my style.

However, I think subconsciously, I was fearing the worst. After all, we hear these things can be blocked out.

Thankfully, that was not the case. I did find out things that won’t go on my CV, or have printed on a t-shirt, but just stuff we all own.

The startling thing to me, being someone that has participated in many self-development courses, is that whenever I have, I find myself wondering why so many people have had their childhoods taken away? Like just under half, belong to this tragic group.

What I’m saying is, I was not sexually abused as a child. But you’d feel sick, if you knew the numbers of those out there who have been.

I thank whatever god is out there, that that is not part of my story. I’m sure some will say “oh yeah, she’s probably doing those ‘nut job’ courses”. The one’s for damaged people on a soul-searching journey.

Spiritual and self-development courses aren’t necessarily for people that have been abused, or have suffered trauma throughout their life. They’re attended by people who simply want a better life, and are committed enough to do the work that’s needed to get one.

I wasn’t sure how to communicate this here as a social commentary piece, but I guess I just feel that I needed to say that people that abuse young kids (often one’s that they know), are usually not the one’s we see reported on national TV. Cause most don’t get caught.

They’re the one’s you work with. One’s you see as loving family members. And one’s that know themselves what they do, or have done, is totally wrong!

From what I’ve seen, and heard, the victims are left with a legacy that goes on for their whole lives. I’ve seen them sit there and tell their stories, and so far, not one has turned their abuser in. They just wanted to block it out and forget.

It only takes one incident, that you as the abuser, may never fathom at the time, robs them of what should have been a life on their own terms.

I felt the need to use this column to say that if you know you have an issue, or ‘perceived need’, that in an open forum would be deemed unforgiveable, that you can still make a choice.

A person that has the guts to put their hand up, to a confidential ‘professional’ and say, “help me, there’s something not right”, should know that they’re still being brave. Dismiss judgment, and embrace intuition.

And in doing so, this might ease the fear of eventually ending up on your deathbed wondering if you’re going straight to hell.

I could be totally naïve here to think that there must be those, that don’t fully understand why they do what they do to young children, but their conscious tells them it’s not right? Not for all, but for some.

I’m sure in many cases, although this will infuriate some, that you honestly feel pure love for the children you choose to abuse, but are too weak to stop yourselves before it’s too late?

If you could sit in the sessions I’ve sat in, and see how your actions destroy another’s self worth, from a deep soul level, and hear the guttural tears that they cry –the type when someone dies – you’d see that their tears are for them.

Because when you touched them, a part of them did die.



  1. Hi Amber
    You have raised an interesting question. In my opinion how could a paedophile not know that what they are doing is wrong? Child abuse has received allot of attention as it should so surely at the very least that must tell them something. Drinking and gambling is not illegal, paedophilia is! Unlike addicts who are mostly hurting themselves how can a paedophile live in denial when society tells them that this is terribly wrong? I do believe that these people are mentally ill but I find it hard to believe that they do not know what they are doing. These people who commit such horrible acts against defenceless children are doing so under their own free will, no one is forcing them. We all live in a world where we have freedom of choice. We can choose not to hurt a child and we can choose not to. Maybe I am wrong but I believe Paedophiles know the difference between right and wrong.
    You are correct when you say that most abusers are people the children know and this is why it goes unreported in most cases. I was abused by my father’s stepdad, my pop. As a child I could not speak up, I could not talk about it. I somehow knew that it was wrong and it was bad. I knew that if I told my family many would be hurt so I protected the perpetrator by keeping it to myself. I was an adult before I told anyone. Sadly my story is more common than most people think. Kids do not speak up and this goes on under the nose of so many parents. The statistics are alarming and theses are only the reported cases.

    • Look I agree Lee. I do not believe that a person that sexually abuses a child is unaware that that first time is wrong. I don’t believe that it just creeps up on them or gets out of control like drinking or gambling does. THis person who wrote to me feels that it is the same which to me says they perhaps still think differently to the rest of society. Perhaps I misunderstood what he/she was saying, but I don’t think so. And yes, I can completely see why a child chooses to stay quiet. And even adults once they realise what’s gone on. Opening a can of worms like that must just seem like such a ‘lose lose’ scenario. And knowing that the news will break further hearts must be very hard for the victim to bare. So the sad thing is that the abusers rely on teh victim’s silence, and no doubt they base that ‘hope’ on the fact that they realise how difficult speaking up would be. And that’s even if the family chooses to believe the child over the adult. Why a child would make up abuse just doesn’t make sense. Sounds like a convenient ‘denial’ approach that so many adults choose to take when the going gets tough.

  2. personally? i believe they are aware that what they are doing is wrong. being a SURVIVOR (refuse to call myself a victim)of sexual abus i know he knew his actions were wrong. i wont go into my morbid story with a screwed up outcome (our justice system truly sucks

    but they damn well know

  3. Hi Amber,

    Came across your blogsite tonight, you have raised some interesting topics!

    Yes, a paedophile knows what they are doing when they first commit the act…they also are surely completely aware that it is wrong. That in itself would contribute to spurring them on, the thrill of doing something taboo.

    Why else would they manipulate to gain a child’s trust, lure them with various means to get what they want….and as we so often hear, threaten the child to keep it quiet…”sssshhhhh, don’t tell anyone, it’ll be our little secret”. If they thought there was nothing wrong with it, then there would be no need to go all cloak and dagger and hide it from those that care about the child.

    I do believe that once someone has committed this sort of act, the pure sexual thrill that they obtain from it would become addictive, so yes, in a sense I think it would be like any addiction. But this one is far more sinister than other more common addictions….

  4. Hello Amber
    My belief is that the abuser knows what they are doing is wrong (legally not morally) but believe that we as a society are behind the times and this should become acceptable in the community. I truly believe that they can not be rehabiliated or reformed. I think that the brain of a abuser is too far gone. They are manipulators, master liars and reply on this to groom their victims. In America they have dedicated a island that imprisons the worst case abusers. I think only one prisoner has every been released into the real world ever, obviously the odds of reform are rare. I can not put drug addicts etc in the same category as I know of people who have lead successful lives after rehabilitation.

  5. Of course these sickos know what they are doing is wrong. But something that annoys me almost as much as the scum who commit these acts are the scum who accuse innocent people of committing child abuse (and rape, etc) just out of either spite, or to gain sympathy or financial gain.
    My ex-wife accused me of molesting our 11 y.o. son soon after I gained custody of both him, and our 3 y.o. son, after she commited a domestic abduction and kept them both hidden and separated in the Adelaide for 3 months. Obviously I was investigated and my son interviewed, but the case was closed due to absolutely no such disgusting act ever happening. She also threatened to have me charged with rape when she discovered that the Federal Police were trying to track her and the boys down after they all disappeared. I called her bluff and told her to go ahead. She never did because I told her I would press for her to be charged with lodging a false complaint once the Police had discovered that I had never committed such an act on her.
    Unfortunately people who make these false allegations only make it more difficult for (a) the REAL victims and (b) the authorities who must follow up these complaints and therefore waste time, resources and taxpayers money to investigate these false claims.

  6. I like M Scott Peck’s definition of love… ‘Love is primarily actions towards nurturing the spiritual growth of another’.
    If you really love someone, it should be natural for their well being to be your prime concern even sometimes at the expense of your own, definitely when it’s a child.
    When paedophiles say it is pure love it is not, it is pure selfish lust for their own gratification, they know it is wrong, but may try and justify it to themselves. They know it is hurting the children, particularly when they blackmail and brainwash them into remaining silent. Perhaps it is an addiction, because there are people who are sex addicts. But if paedophiles can’t control their urges, then they should be chemically castrated or locked up so they cannot mentally maim innocent children.

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