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The Berlin Prevention Project Dunkelfeld is a project to prevent child sexual abuse. It is a free of charge treatment offer which underlies confidentiality. The Project is directed at people seeking therapeutic help because they feel sexually attracted to children and who are not currently under investigation for possible offenses including child sexual abuse or the use of child abusive images. The therapy aims at the acquisition of skills, which in research have been recognised as being crucial for a successful control of sexual impulses to prevent direct sexual assault by physical contact or indirect sexual assault by the use of or the production of child sexual abusive images.

The treatment programme integrates psychotherapeutic (i.e. cognitive behaviour therapy), sexological, and medical approaches that involve the option of pharmacological support. For taking part in this project, an applicant should be aware of the problems that go along with their sexual interest in children. Applicants should also be self-motivated to make use of therapeutic support in order to not abuse children (again) and/or to refrain from using child abusive images. The interventions aim to support project participants to learn to control their sexual impulses. Therefore, the focus of therapeutic work is on learning and practising competencies that guarantee a safe handling of sexual impulses, which is not endangering to self or others, if necessary with pharmacological treatment options.

The target group's attention is called to the prevention project by a media campaign. The slogan of the campaign is "Do you like children in ways you shouldn't". The message is: "You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behaviour. There is help! Don't become an offender!".

The Berlin location of the Prevention Project Dunkelfeld is initiator and coordinator of the German Prevention Network "Don't offend". In 2005, the project started in Berlin. Meanwhile, there are project sides in Kiel (Schleswig Holstein), Hamburg, Hannover (Lower Saxony), Leipzig (Saxony), Regensburg (Bavaria), and Stralsund (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). Thereby, the network guaranties common quality standards, referring to communication and media, pledge of confidentiality and anonymity, diagnostics, therapeutic approach, and qualifications in sexual medicine/sexual therapy. The network aims to build up a nationwide, comprehensive therapeutic offer to establish the primary prevention of traumatic sexual experiences in children and teenagers.

For more information: www.dont-offend.org.

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