The concept of harm reduction applied to sexual offending is very upsetting to some clinicians. This paper attempts to anchor harm reduction within the larger framework of relapse prevention. It is argued that reducing harm more accurately represents what clinicians do with sexual offenders rather than preventing or eliminating relapses. There are numerous common misconceptions about harm reduction with sexual offenders and explanations are provided for each of these. Finally, it is argued that harm reduction acknowledges that sexual abuse and all forms of interpersonal violence are actually public health issues. Adoption of this viewpoint, however, requires acceptance of a more humanistic perspective rather than a medical, psychological, legal, or political solution to a grievous social problem.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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