A reflection on STOPSO's 2nd Annual Conference
Jackie Williams, Senior Teaching Fellow, Counselling and Psychotherapy recently attended STOPSO's 2nd Annual Conference, which had a number of keynote speakers, and lived experience contributors. STOPSO is a relatively new charity, which has quite a broad overview, for example in areas such as sexual offending.
STOPSO offer counselling and support to the many different people whose lives are affected by sexual offending, including men who may be attracted to children (but not offended); family members (partners/children) of someone is awaiting court. such as CSE offences (eg computer images of children), and men post-custody who have served a sentence for CSE; there is little follow up or support for sex offenders following release from prison, or even within prison now in terms of rehabilitation.
"It struck me how often family members (including children) of people awaiting court, are often isolated and cut off from their normal support networks or actively demonised when their life is turned upside down with the shock of a pending court case for (eg. father/partner)." Jackie says.
"The areas STOPSO cover are difficult and often raise high emotions in others. They illustrate the continuing taboo of CSE and in seeking to raise awareness and open discussion around the topic they seem to me, to be a brave, realistic and pragmatic organisation. The statistics discussed at the conference and on their website are staggering such as CSE and increasing year on year."