Does treatment for adults who have sexually abused children really work?

FAQ Category:
Worried About Self

YES. Experts agree that with successful completion of specialized treatment, people who sexually abuse children can learn how to control their behaviors and become part of the solution to keep children safe.

Child sexual abuse is a crime and must be dealt with first through the child protection and criminal justice systems. But to prevent future abuse, it’s in our best interest as a society to provide the best treatment available to every person who has sexually harmed or abused a child who wants to change. It’s important that this treatment is with a professional who specializes in working with adults who have sexually abused children. Adults who abuse children do so for different reasons and in order for treatment to be the most effective, a specialized treatment provider can best determine the type of treatment that will have the best outcome.

Research shows that stable housing, employment, and a positive social support system are important in reducing risk for abusive behavior in the future.  When people who abuse have access to these and are firmly supported and held accountable by their friends and families, they are more likely to complete their treatment programs and live productive, abuse-free lives. 

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