Kirkens omsorg for mennesker der har krænket børn seksuelt
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During my studies, I have attended classes on pastoral care and counseling where we have heard about the need to reach out with care for the victim in a sexual abuse case. In the class, however, we hardly heard anything about the need to reach out with pastoral care to the offender. This awoke an interest in me, to focus my thesis on the needs of the offender. I wanted to find out if or how the church could reach out and help the offender deal with issues concerning sexual abuse and overcoming their desire to abuse children. This thesis focus on the diaconal perspective in relations to reaching out with pastoral care and counseling to a sexual offender. I want to find some of the challenges and considerations this arise looking at what the church can offer to care for sexual offenders. To highlight this, I have chosen the following research question: Which considerations and challenges arise concerning the church reaching out with pastoral care for people who have sexual abuse children? My aim has been to research on how sexual offenders has been met by the church and how the church can reach out with pastoral care and counseling meeting the social and spiritual needs the sexual offender. I have done this by interviewing sexual offenders who have served a prison sentence and pastoral workers who have contact with and care for sexual offenders. The thesis shows the sexual abusers need for support from the church dealing with sin, guilt and difficulties forgiving themselves. These needs can be met by the church through counseling, having a trusted confidant to be accountable to, the need for Pastoral Counseling and setting up health boundaries for entering and being a part of a faith community. If the church is not ready to face this issue, it is best not to try to reach out with care, it will have an damaging effect on the offender, the church and put children at risk. If the church decides to reach out with care to the offender, they can help the offender being accountable, facing the consequences of their actions and support them in their daily struggle to end the offending pattern and continue receiving proper treatment. In this thesis, you will find information about Sexual abuse on Children, Treatment of sexual abuse and Pastoral Care in a Scandinavian context.