Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jul 2005
Source: Peoria Journal Star (IL)
Copyright: 2005sPeoria Journal Star
Author: Ted Wolgamot


As someone who is nationally certified as a sex addiction therapist 
and who has worked with the families of addicts for some 20 years, I 
would like to commend the Journal Star for its opposition to the 
policy of "shaming" prostitutes' customers by posting their arrest 
photos on the Internet.

Many of the people involved in this kind of behavior are addicted to 
sex. Addiction of any kind is not a choice. It is a brain disorder, 
just like other mental illnesses. This is not said in any way to 
excuse the addict, but only to help explain why they do this kind of 
aberrant, criminal activity.

On their own they cannot stop. What they need to help them stop is 
not public shaming, but professional help from certified therapists, 
combined with 12-step meetings and a sponsor, just like the court 
system now does with drug addicts.

Shaming addicts will only produce two results:

1. Create a need for them to even more desperately seek out the same 
behavior in ever more clandestine and destructive ways, including the 
possibility of suicide.

2. Cause indescribable pain and humiliation for their families, 
particularly the children of these addicts. This kind of family 
shame/disgrace can then lay the groundwork for developing a home 
environment that makes it easier for these same children to become 
involved in alcohol, drugs and sexual promiscuity themselves.

The souls of addicts are already filled to overflowing with 
self-hatred. Instead of passing that profound heartache onto their 
children, get these people help. And here's the good news: never 
before has this kind of help been as available as it is now.

Ted Wolgamot