Prevention Project Dunkelfeld
The Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (PPD) is an effort founded in Germany to provide clinical and support services to individuals who are sexually interested in children and want help working against their sexual interests, but are otherwise unknown to the legal authorities. The term "dunkelfeld" is German for "dark field." The project began in Berlin in June 2005 with a large media campaign to contact pedophiles and hebephiles who wanted help from clinicians. The campaign pledged medically confidential treatment free-of-charge. It was initially funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, and has been financially supported by the German government since 2008. The project's slogan is "You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behavior. There is help! Don’t become an offender!"
1,134 men had responded by 2010. 499 had a completed diagnosis, and 255 had been offered a place in therapy. More than half had previously attempted to find therapy without success. The therapy offered has three main components. Patients are encouraged to accept their sexual inclinations, integrate it into their self-concept, and involve relatives or partners in the therapeutic process. Cognitive behaviour therapy is used to improve coping skills, stress management, and sexual attitudes. Drugs that reduce general sex drive, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors and anti-androgens, may also be offered. The PPD and the individuals who join the organization have been the subject of several research studies.
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- Beier, K. M., & Loewit, K. K. (2012). Sexual Medicine in Clinical Practice. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 126–127.
- Beier, K. M., Neutze, J., Mundt, I. A., Ahlers, C. J., Goecker, D., Konrad, A., & Schaefer, G. A. (2009). Encouraging self-identified pedophiles and hebephiles to seek professional help: First results of the Prevention Project Dunkelfeld. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33, 545-549. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2009.04.002
- Beier, K. M., Ahlers, C. J., Goecker, D., Neutze, J., Mundt, I. A., Hupp, E., & Schaefer, G. A. (2009). Can pedophiles be reached for primary prevention of child sexual abuse? First results of the Berlin Prevention Project Dunkelfeld. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 20, 851-867. doi: 10.1080/14789940903174188
- Neutrz, J., Seto, M. C., Schaefer, G. A., Mundt, I. A., Beier, K. M. (2011). Predictors of child pornography offences and child sexual abuse in a community sample of pedophiles and hebephiles. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 23, 212-242.
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