The Daily Mirror newspaper this week published a piece in response to the Channel 4 documentary “The Paedophile Next Door”, which asked whether UK society could do more to prevent reoffending by those convicted of committing sexual crimes against children.
As part of her research into the area, The Mirror’s technology editor, Olivia Solon, contacted FCRG’s Prof. Todd Hogue for comment on a range of issues, such as social rehabilitation, stigma, and media coverage of sexual crime. On the issue of stigma and reintegration, Prof. Hogue stated that paedophiles “are alienated, poor and unhappy. It makes it harder to have relationships, harder to re-engage with society and have appropriate and normal relationships”, and thus the risk of reoffending is increased through a lack of social bonds.
Referring to research conducted with PhD student, Craig Harper, in relation to media coverage of sexual crime generally, Prof. Hogue is also quoted as saying that “in seeking to protect the identity of victims who know their perpetrator, papers go gung-ho every time they have a stranger perpetrator. This gives the public the false idea that the only people they have to worry about is strangers”, and hides the fact that the vast majority (up to 90% in cases of child sexual abuse) involve a perpetrator who is known to the victim.