Intense stigma can keep pedophiles from seeking support to treat their condition,. But for non-offenders who are seeking therapy and the tools to better understand and control their attractions, there are some resources available. Some of these are featured in Firsthand documentary, I Pedophile.
Virtuous Pedophiles is the largest online support group where pedophiles can interact anonymously under the mandate of leading celibate, non-offending lives. Championed by experts such as Dr. James Cantor, this website is for pedophiles who understand that sexual interactions with children are wrong, and that by supporting one another, pedophiles can seek dignified lives despite their attractions.
Prevention Project Dunkelfeld in Germany is the only place in the world that offers true anonymous treatment to both offending and non-offending pedophiles. Operating in 11 places throughout the country, the Dunkelfeld project has treated over 5,000 pedophiles, and continues to provide a safe haven for pedophiles to receive free non-judgemental therapy, and when necessary, even sex drive-reducing medication. Dunkelfeld operates under the principle that while no one is responsible for their attractions, a person is responsible for their actions.
CoSA Canada is the Canadian national organization for Circles of Support and Accountability. It began in Hamilton, Ontario in 1994 as a restorative justice program for men and women who have committed serious sexual offences. Sexual offenders are often released from prison without any supports or effective monitoring. CoSA fills this gap by providing trained volunteers to act as friends. They provide the supports to help ex-offenders succeed, hold them accountable for their behaviour, and work closely with police and mental health professionals to raise the alarm if necessary. Many peer-reviewed studies have been done on CoSA, all showing the same outcome: dramatically lower rates of reoffending. The CoSA model is being looked at for implementation in the UK, US, European Union, Brazil, and South Korea.
Dr. James Cantor leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers from CAMH and other Toronto-based hospitals studying the role of the brain in causing pedophilia. His clinical activities focus primarily on the assessment of persons dealing with illegal or clinically significant sexual behaviours and interests. His website contains links to research and to other information on pedophilia and other sex offenders.
July 17, 2015 episode of the CBC Radio program Ideas: “Pedophilia conjures up the most unspeakable crimes. Is it a psychiatric disorder that can be treated, or is it innate and unchangeable? We speak with ex-offenders and doctors on both sides of the debate.”