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It’s about the victims…or at least it should be!

" ... I have been swamped with people wanting more information on what chemical castration really is."

Marc My Words…

By Marc Alexander MP

It’s about the victims…or at least it should be!

After a couple of television appearances, a media release, and some newspaper coverage I have been swamped with people wanting more information on what chemical castration really is. This has all come about because I have come out strongly in favour of Graham Capill as a prime candidate for this medical intervention.

The disgraced former leader of the Christian Heritage Party, Graham Capill is clearly a broken man who, to give him a smidgen of credit, has spared his victims a lengthy and difficult court process. For all I know he may even be sorry (and I don’t mean just sorry he got caught!).

If he is ever considered for release from prison he should jump at the chance to be pharmacologically neutered. It will at least free him from his predilection for young children; give him the chance of a relatively normal life; and most importantly, help to prevent him from creating future victims.

While I feel sorry for Capill’s family and his fellow Christians whom he has despicably betrayed, frankly, I cannot understand why this self-confessed paedophile was treated differently from other paedophiles when he first appeared in court and was remanded at large for sentencing.

You don’t just have an instance of paedophilia…it’s not like catching the flu. Paedophilia is never a one-off crime, but a serial offence. It is hard to escape the reality that it is a lifelong predilection where the only reasonable chance of prevention is therapeutic. That is not to say that culpability is in any way diminished because we do not have to act on our urges. Nevertheless the research is worth looking into.

Much investigation to date has reviewed surgical castration in Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Iceland with reported recidivism rates down from 50 per cent to below 5 per cent. Texas has reported repeat offender rates of just 2.2 per cent compared to a national average of over 20 per cent (20 per cent is a low figure that was deduced from a short term study – longitudinal studies show much higher recidivism rates). A report in the New England Journal of Medicine further supports the efficacy of chemical castration to reduce recidivism rates, especially that of paedophiles. The main conclusions of the report are:

• All multiple offending violent sex-offenders should be remanded in custody under monitoring regimes in prison or in a mental health facility for life.
• Appropriate programmes such as chemical or surgical castration to be provided to all sex-offenders who volunteer for treatment.
• Parole provisions for sex offenders to include monitoring, curfews, residential assessments and voluntary chemical castration where considered to be beneficial, as a pre-condition for parole.

Capill is but the latest in a long and shameful roll call of people with paedophilic behaviours. Let’s remind ourselves of the risk posed to the community by Lloyd McIntosh. He was the offender who raped a six year old girl in 1989, and then brutally raped a 23 month old baby girl within three months of being released in 1993.Then, when released later under a 24 hour supervision regime he managed to assault an intellectually handicapped woman while his supervisor remained oblivious, outside the door.

Despite the prevalent belief that child molesters have low re-offending rates, there is another disturbing reality. A 25-year study showed that up to 75 per cent of paedophiles registered new offences during that period. The sick appetites of paedophiles will not be curbed by a regime of inkblot watching and counselling in self-esteem, but require more invasive treatment. While the strict behaviourists insist their interventions are working, theirs is a ‘head in the sand’ school of argument because typically, these offenders are white, middle class and educated enough not to get caught right away; hence the initial low rates of recidivism. Just because we haven’t caught them yet doesn’t mean they’re not committing the crimes. As the 25-year study shows … they do get caught eventually.

So what should we do with them?

If we take the European and United States approaches we could impose chemical castration as a condition of parole. A number of countries already use surgical and chemical castration to good effect with stunning cuts in recidivism rates in Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Iceland and many states in USA. Depo-Provera has been used quite successfully. Also, the new drug Triptorelin would be a good place to start. While Depo-Provera has reduced recidivism amongst paedophiles from 50 per cent to below 5per cent, Triptorelin has been reported to have a success rate of 100% when used in conjunction with psychotherapy and shows signs of fewer side-effects.

What’s more, the side effects are minimal and can be administered easily by monthly injection. Chemical castration cuts reoffending as it cuts unacceptable urges. It works.

While some might find a medical intervention like this cruel and unusual, I argue that paedophilia is even crueler with long lasting negative and abnormal effects on the victims. The effect on children is devastating, requiring years of healing and in many cases predisposing the victim to become a perpetrator also.

At some point we do have to draw a line that cannot be crossed and no matter how distasteful it may appear, use what works and discard what doesn’t. The bottom line is that chemical castration does work for paedophiles.

Graham Capill may be a religious hypocrite; the founding leader of Christian Heritage; a former police prosecutor; a father and family man. But all I really see is a paedophile. No more and no less. I met him on numerous occasions but I cannot humanise him in any way at all; I care about the victims far too much for that.

I hope Capill stays in jail for a very long time. He deserves to. I have been accused of not wanting to forgive. But it is not my place to forgive any more than it is for his friends, family, or any apologist. The only people who have any moral authority to forgive belong amongst his victims. The harm he has done to them incalculable. My sympathies rest with them: his victims.


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