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Are Child Sex Dolls a Therapeutic Deterrence or Abettal of Abuse?

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It’s strange when you rally think about this because on the one hand you think, if this helps prevent child abuse then it should be acceptable, but it just walks such a very thin line of feeling like it’s still not right.

via sputniknews:

Should individuals be allowed to own and use child sex dolls or would it ultimately encourage them to act on their sexual preferences and lead to abuse of real children in real life? In this case, should other types of sex toys be brought under the same level of scrutiny?

While arguments that use of dolls serves as a preventative therapy are dismissed by critics, should other types of sex toys be brought under the same level of legal scrutiny?

Therapy or Not

The most recent row over child sex dolls saw the online retailer giant Amazon pull child sex dolls from sale in Britain. Opponents of “disgusting” dolls include England Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, and UK’s leading children’s charity NSPCC.

Longfield said that child sex dolls present “a clear danger to the safety of real children.”

In a statement sent to Sputnik, a spokesperson referred to commentary by NSPCC Head of Development Jon Brown, who has in 2017 explained the organization’s position on child sex dolls:

“There is no evidence to support the idea that the use of so-called child sex dolls helps potential abusers from committing contact offences against real children. And in fact there is a risk that those using these child sex dolls or realistic props could become desensitised and their behaviour becomes normalised to them, so that they go on to harm children themselves, as is often the case with those who view indecent images.”

Dr. Bernard Gallagher of the University of Huddersfield says it would virtually impossible to get that evidence. He told Sputnik he recognizes there are conflicting opinions on the matter, as “one could argue — it is a doll, what harm is anyone doing?” One could make it as a civil liberties argument, Dr. Gallagher added.

“But you also run the risk of them going on to commit real offenses against children,” he concluded.

Some people think that tackling the problem of child sex abuse is finding the offenders, convicting them, locking them up — and that’s the end of the problem; that’s not the case, according to Dr. Gallagher.

“The vast majority of child sex offences never become known to authorities anyway. We need to try and help those people we never find out about. One of the ways to do that is providing therapy,” he told Sputnik.

Chairman of the Wales-based charity StopSo – a “UK wide network of experienced therapists trained and willing to work with potential sex offenders, sex offenders and their families” — provoked criticism in 2017, when she suggested “the use of dolls in a carefully regulated way.”

“If someone comes forward and says, ‘I am attracted to young children, and I want help to ensure that I never act on that attraction, so that I never harm a child,’ then maybe society should consider the use of dolls in a carefully regulated way. Perhaps a ‘prescription’ for the use of a child sex doll could be given, alongside therapy, mentoring and supervision, could help the individual remain law abiding and fully accountable for their behaviour,” Juliet Grayson of StopSo said.

According to the charity, the government should focus on prevention, which would save many children from abuse along with millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

“That solution is government-funded therapy before the crime, not after,” says StopSo.

Ms. Greyson’s view however wasn’t shared by Monmouth MP David Davies

“There are some things that are just stating the obvious and this is one of them. These dolls are quite obscene and anyone wanting one needs mental health treatment. I do not think we should be pandering to their rather dreadful fantasies. There is a fine line between trying to deal with a problem and encouraging it, and I think that is what this is doing. It could even make people think this is normal.”

Legislation & Loopholes

The use of child sex dolls in Britain is not illegal — neither is it a criminal offence to manufacture or possess them. Troubles with law enforcement begin when an individual decides to import the dolls from abroad.

Section 42 of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 make it a crime to import to the United Kingdom “indecent or obscene prints, paintings, photographs, books, cards, lithographic or other engravings, or any other indecent or obscene articles.”

The NSPCC has called for criminalization of “manufacturing, distribution and possession of these grotesque dolls, in the same way it does indecent images of children.”

In 2017, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has seized 123 child sex dolls ordered and on their way to Britain from abroad.

© PHOTO : UK NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY Turner doll intercepted at border - not charged over this doll

© PHOTO : UK NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY
Turner doll intercepted at border – not charged over this doll

One of the loudest cases was that of the 72-year-old David Turner, who has been found guilty of importing a 3ft 10in doll. Turner admitted having sex with the doll and buying clothes for it.

On July 31, in the first ruling of its kind, Judge Simon James, sitting at Canterbury Crown Court, decided it was indecent or obscene in law.

With charities calling for criminalization of child sex dolls in the UK, it would require an overhaul of the British set of laws on the matter.

It would also have to account for new forms of potential offenses, as argued by Dr. Bela Bonita Chatterjee, Senior Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University.

“The fact that such items are available for import suggests that international-level action as well as domestic legislation is necessary for more effective child protection. Crime is evolving alongside technology. The law needs to keep up and think ahead in order to meet the challenges of the future,” Dr. Chatterjee said.

The views of the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Sputniknews

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