The stigma in sex offenders’ social perception and treatment SUMMARY. Public opinion, media and policy makers see child molesters as monsters, "bogeymen" or untreatable freaks that have nothing to do with "normal" people. The hate for the bogeyman has serious consequences: it hinders the possibility of contrasting the spread of sexual abuse within the so-called trust circles ( family, school, juveniles sport club and associations, etc.) contributing to the denial of the abuse. At the policy making level, long sentences remain the only answer for sexual offending. In treatment, denial and minimization, as well as a passive identification with the stigma, are fostered preventing accountability.
Keywords: Sexual abuse; paedophilia; denial; treatment; stigma.