Directive 2011/92/EU of The European Parliament on combating sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children requires EU member states to provide sexual abuse prevention services to potential offenders. Convention on the Rights of the Child requires that the nations that have ratified the convention take action to protect the child from all forms of physical and mental violence, including sexual abuse and exploitation.
Currently Finland does not meet these requirements. Public prevention services or intervention programs are not provided for non-convicted potential sexual offenders. Additionally, social and health care professionals lack tools and skills to work with clients that are concerned about their sexual interests (Alanko et al, 2015).
The Prevention Project SeriE is a collaboration between Sexpo Foundation and The Finnish Foundation for Supporting Ex-Offenders. It focuses on providing free preventive and supportive services to individuals who are sexually interested in children. The three main target groups are individuals who have this sexual interest but have not committed an offence, individuals who are under investigation and individuals who have committed an offence and are in the need of additional rehabilitation after their conviction. Supportive services are provided in Finnish, Swedish and English. Professional counselling and consultation to social and health care professionals are provided within the project. Brochures and other material are also produced to provide information about child sexual abuse and pedophilia as a phenomenon. Providing accurate information will reduce stigma and encourage potential offenders to seek support.
The SeriE-network coordinates the services and knowledge of authorities, NGOs and other actors both within the Helsinki Metropolitan area and nationwide on child specific sexual interest and sexual offences against children. The SeriE-network aims to clarify the paths of service both to the clients and the professionals working with potential and convicted sexual offenders. The staff in the Prevention Project SeriE consists of two Sexuality Therapists and one Network Coordinator. The project is funded by the Finnish Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organizations (STEA) and has been implemented in 2018—2020. Additional funding by the Ministry of Justice enables the project to continue for another two years (2021—2022).
Looking for help?
If you are worried about your sexual desires, thoughts or fantasies towards children, please contact us for support: firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide a safe and confidential environment to discuss and reflect on your sexual thoughts or fantasies towards children.
Sexuality is an important part of being human. In counselling, we explore ways to live a good and full life without violating anyone’s sexual boundaries. You can also contact us if you are concerned about the sexual preferences or behaviour of a friend, partner or a family member. Our conversations in counselling are confidential and are based on openness and respect. Our therapists will help you find means to support your sexuality and overall well-being. The services we offer take into consideration your individual needs and life situation.
Visit helplinks.eu to find a source of online or offline help in your country. Also, please see the Sexual Interest in Children Self-Help Online Program, which is free and open for everyone.
The Prevention Project SeriE