Different pathologies affect different people, and it is not easy to understand the pains a stranger may be going through when we have not walked a mile in their shoes. From this premise, BBC journalist Catherine Burns got in touch with a pedophile in the hopes of understanding the difficulties of living with this little understood, but always judged condition.
The man she contacted is in his early twenties, and describes himself as “the weird guy”, despite looking like a perfectly normal man.
For his own safety, he asked the journalist not to reveal his name.
The man confessed he has always been attracted to minors — boys no older than 15. He also added that he would never hurt a child, since he believes that due to his attraction to them, it falls to him to keep them safe.
He describes himself as a regular person, who enjoys going to the movies with his friends, playing videogames and hanging out with his loved ones. However, he feels different from others around him, and cannot explain how, since his early childhood, he developed an attraction to younger boys.
“It all started when I was 13, I was attracted to younger boys and couldn’t understand why. I felt that only grown men could be “pedophiles.” As I grew up, the ages of the boys I was interested in remained the same, and in fact it went even lower.”
The man calls himself an “anti-contact” pedophile, and admits knowing many others who suffer the same condition, admitting their attraction to children but understanding that abusing them is wrong.
“I grow angry whenever I see news about minors being abused, which is why I agreed to this interview. Many times, the pedophiles shown in the news — the criminals — are not actual pedophiles. They suffer from different pathologies. I would rather kill myself before hurting a child. What I feel for them is more emotional than physical. I wish to care for them, and protect them.”
It is important to note that “anti-contact” groups exist in order to help people with this condition, as they often feel ostracized from society since admitting to their pathology could mean social isolation, and even prison time. For this reason, these groups are formed in an almost clandestine way and always emphasizing anonymity, in order for the users to safely share their stories and receive support.