The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers has just issued a major policy paper calling for a shift in public policy toward sex offending. The balance has tipped too far toward criminal justice punishments, causing unintended consequences such as families who fear coming forward to report sexual abuse, the paper emphasizes.
Key recommendations of the 54-page policy statement include:
- Design and implement evidence-informed policy.
- Develop successful community policies that expand the notion of what constitutes abuser accountability; encourage community responsibility and healing; and provide safety, restitution, healing, and avenues for input for victims.
- Integrate what is known about perpetration into prevention programs, victim services, and public education.
The introductory quote from Eleanor Roosevelt makes me optimistic that this may signal a major shift for ATSA, which has significant legislative influence around the United States, in the direction of primary prevention.