ATSA Forum - Vol. XXVII, No. 2
Spring 2015  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
Regular Features
 Editor's Note
 President's Message
Featured Articles
 Applying the Self-Regulation Model to Community Supervision
 How to develop good public understanding of child sexual abuse and its management.
 International Membership Survey Results
 Protective Factors for Sexually Violent Offending
Students' Voice
 Online Sexual Offenders’ Implicit Theories
Book Review
 Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy
ATSA Forum Survey
 ATSA Forum Newsletter Readership Survey
 Call for Board Nominees
 Awards & Grants
 Ethics Violation
 New ATSA Members
 Safer Society Press

President's Message

by Elizabeth Letourneau, ATSA President 2014-2015

Greetings from Baltimore, where we seem finally to be coming out of an interminable winter.  Slowly, tentatively, and with the real possibility of relapse back into winter weather.  But we are coming out.  I hope this note finds each of you well and warm or at least warming.

As we head into Spring, there are many activities to report on.  I will mention just a few: 

ATSA Executive Director, Maia Christopher and her staff at the ATSA office, along with 2015 Conference Chair Dr. Jean Proulx have been busy preparing for our 34th ATSA Conference to be held in the beautiful city of Montreal.  Confirmed plenary speakers include Drs. Meredith Chivers, Richard Tremblay, and Frederick Lösel.  I hope you are planning to attend this extraordinary meeting, surely the best way to learn, network, and grow in our field.

The ATSA Board of Directors (BOD) is soliciting nominations for three positions: Public Policy Representative, Research Representative, and Treasurer.  The first two are elected positions while the BOD appoints the Treasurer position.  Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague. 

Maia, incoming ATSA President Mike Miner, and the BOD are also continuing efforts to develop a new 3-year strategic plan.  We will be reaching out to members for input into this plan in the coming months.

I also want to mention another activity.  As many of you know, the ATSA “Help Wanted” Collaborative Project is an ongoing effort to develop and, eventually, evaluate an intervention for adolescents who are sexually attracted to young children.  As part of my work with this project, I’ve spoken (or emailed, more often than not) with many young people who live with such attractions.  Most recently, I had the great fortune to speak with a young man, “M” who lives out west.  He wants to help others who are similarly afflicted with an unwanted attraction to children – help them remain committed to avoiding harm and to believe in their own value and worth.  He also wants to promote greater tolerance and empathy among those who are not afflicted with such attractions.  And so he was considering speaking out – coming out – in front of a live audience.   My audience. At my symposium, to be held later in April. 

To be 20 is to be a risk taker, almost by definition.   That this young man is willing to speak out about his attraction and how it has affected his life is remarkably selfless and brave.  And fraught with the potential for harm.  I fear that public acknowledgement of his attraction might somehow derail college acceptances, job offers, or place M at risk of harassment or worse. 

There is real power in engaging the public with people who overcome a sexual orientation toward children.   Their stories encourage empathy and hope.   But how do we make this happen safely?  I don’t pretend to know what is right.  But to speak with M is to hear a sweet, kind, and thoughtful young person.  He reminded me how very privileged I am to work in a field that touches the lives of so many. 

We are all in the business of prevention sexual abuse – of helping people stay out or get out of harm’s way.  I hope in your own practice you come across someone – maybe a client or colleague or student – who reminds you how fortunate you are to work in service of preventing sexual abuse.

I also hope everyone has a safe and beautiful spring.  As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly with your stories or for any other reason.  My email address is below.


Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Ph.D.