Upper House MP Anton Belyakov has drafted a bill allowing Russian courts to order the chemical castration of people convicted of sex crimes against children. At present, such a measure can only be applied on a voluntary basis.
In an explanatory note attached to the bill, Belyakov noted that the international experience had proved that chemical castration is an effective method that would minimize the possibility of repeated crimes among those convicted for sex crimes against under age children.
I wonder what country(s) provided that information?
The senator also stated in his explanations that despite the fact that the criminal responsibility for pedophilia was toughened several years ago, the number of such crimes continues to rise. “According to the Interior Ministry, the number of rapes where the victim is between 14 and 17 has risen by 2.9 times and the number of rapes with victims under the age of 14 grew 4.2 times,” the note reads.
This is very disconcerting! Why are the numbers growing exponentially? I think someone needs to study pedophiles to find a pattern of behaviour where the desire to molest children develops. It could be a direct effect of the spectacular increase in child pornography. On the other hand, as I have written elsewhere, pedophiles are not really about sex, they are about the violation and destruction of innocence.
Belyakov’s bill reads that prior to ordering chemical castration the court must hold special forensic research that would definitely establish that the convict is a pedophile. The document does not provide for any benefits for the convicts who undergo the court-ordered procedure.
The document also provides that the necessary procedures and medicines are sponsored from combined sources – the state budget as well as a special private fund that would be created if the bill is passed into law.
Russia already allows chemical castration of pedophiles, but only on a voluntary basis in exchange for reducing prison terms. The measure was introduced in early 2012 and as part of the broader law that also banned suspended and deferred sentences for those found guilty of sex crimes against a child under the age of 14. According to the same act, such convicts can now ask for parole only after serving at least 80 per cent of their sentence.
Good law! I like a law that keeps pedophiles off the streets for longer periods of time.
Chemical castration is usually carried out by giving the patient drugs containing synthetic progesterone hormone that lowers the levels of male hormone testosterone, reducing sexual desire. The scientific community has no agreement over the drug’s ability to inhibit a pedophile's desire to abuse a child, while its side effects include depression, fatigue, diabetes and blood clots.
I have some serious doubts about this program working. First of all, would it require regular injections, every 2 weeks or once a month? That's going to need it's own bureaucracy. Second, I doubt that it would curb a pedophile's predilection for child pornography, thereby contributing indirectly to child sex abuse. Third, Viagra is available everywhere - can a couple of Viagra overcome the Estrogen effect?
It will be interesting to see whether the program actually reduces repeat child sex abuse. But laws mostly only affect pedophiles after they have victimized a child. Russia needs to proactively educate their children in schools as to safe/unsafe touch, good and bad secrets, who to talk to and how to talk to them if you have been approached by someone who just wants to touch you or get you to go with them someplace. Erin's Law in the US addresses these issues and is already making a difference even though it's barely begun.