Men who Molest: Children who survive

Long considered a taboo subject, the sexual abuse of children has become front-page news. This film examines how Northwest Treatment Associates in Seattle is handling the problem with a therapy program for child molesters that can be an alternative to prison.


Borrowing techniques developed in Alcoholics Anonymous, the program at Northwest views molesters as sexual addicts and seeks to first alter their behavior and then focus on the reasons for it. Molesters must first confront their actions; in some instances reenacting their crimes with a mannequin while a therapist videotapes them. That process, says one counselor, “blows away their rationalization system and it becomes very difficult for them to justify their behavior.”


The documentary also looks at how the crime affects the victims of sexual abuse and their families. At a counseling center, one child uses dolls to show what happened to her. At another therapy session, mothers of sexually abused children discuss misconceptions about incest.

Men Who Molest won the 1985 News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Background/Analysis Of A Single Current Story.

“Watching this documentary is a stunning experience. It brings us face-to-face with some very disturbed men, and poses tough questions without supplying easy answers.” –Kathryn Jankowski, The Montclarion