can a person change

Kimberly - posted on 05/11/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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here is a debate i just want to hear what people think about people changing. for instance can a rapist be reabilated. can an achaholic stop being addicted. my husband feels that only the cercumstances change, not the person

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/12/2011

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Kimberly, I am impressed that you have rebuilt your relationship with your brother. Nervous that you let a child molester near your children. Please PLEASE tell me you do not leave him alone with them!

[deleted account]

Kimberley's hubby- I agree. That said, I have a background in law enforcement so maybe I have just seen the more extreme side of this argument. However, I will respectfully say to those who believe sex offenders in particular can be rehabilitated- I STRONGLY disagree. I have been told by actual offenders that "anyone who has done this before and tells you they know they wont do it again is lying to both you and themselves." The basic premise- according to actual sex offenders is this:- Paedophile genuinely think they are not harming the child, they believe they are demonstrating LOVE, with CONSENT; they think this b/c they groom the child in such a way that they can convince themselves and the child that consent has been given. Same goes- in a slightly different way- with rapists, whether the offender targets men or women rape is about power and people with power issues; regardless of how it presents, have the Alpha-type personality that constantly desires power. Arguably these offenders have more 'choice' in their behaviour than paedophiles in 'controllling' their behaviour and may have a better chance of changing. But either way, I have never met a sex offender that doesnt still want to offend and further, that wouldnt take the chance to do so again under circumsatnces where they wouldnt get caught. So personally, I think it's dangerous to believe these offenders CAN be rehabbed. As for addiction, IMO that's a whole other debate and I personally dont know enough about the subject to argue intelligently- I do however know people who suffer from addiction that have managed to get to the point of recovery but my understanding is it's a long, hard road and requires vigilance to maintain.

[deleted account]

Only with massive, massive therapy, hard work, determination and a desire to change. So no, people can't change becuase the amount of work involved is way more than anyone (myself included ) is willing to put in.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/11/2011

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I think people can change. As far as sexual offenders, I don't give a fuck what type of therapy you have been through...you are not getting left alone with my kids.

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Kimberly - posted on 05/12/2011

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no i do not leave my son home alone with my brother. i am a stay at home mom i am always with him

Desiree - posted on 05/12/2011

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i believe that a Leapord never changes his spots thehidden ones just have a tendancy to surface. So no I don't believe people who commit certain types of crimes can be rehabilitated. Rape, Abuse, Peadofilia and certain types of Killing (serial and spree). someone who kills in selfdefence or in a passion of some kind yes probably. I am not even sure that fraudster can and in many cases nore can a thief. It's all about just how strong thier will is, and what of personality they have. I wouldn't commit a murder or steal because my consence is a terrible thing and actually makes me sick if i even forget something I should have done. But I am sure I would kill to protect some one I love. I would probably feel really ill afterwards and remorsful but I would if needed too.

Kimberly - posted on 05/11/2011

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as the husband i would like to make it a little more clear on my beleifs on people changing. i beleive a person can omit him/her self from a situation and the surroundings that caused them to do "bad" things. i beleive that given the right circumstances a person can stay away from negative behavior after they go through any kind of rehab. what i strictly state is that if a sex offender, alcoholic, abusive spouse, or cheating spouse were to be put in the same situation that originaly caused them to have the impulse to commit the offense they will recede to doing it again.

I.E. an abusive husband is with a great woman and is stressed out at work and home and decides to take his frustrations out on his wife. the wife leaves him and he goes to treatment/anger managment and people assume he is better. now if he gets a less stressful job and a new wife and things go smoothly with only a few bumps here and there he wont commit the offense again, but if more realisticly he gets out of treatment, gets a new job, and gets engaged and buying a house, he relizes the job isnt enough to pay for the house and soon to be baby he starts to hate his job and stress levels build to the point of re-offending.

thanks for reading my beliefs.

[deleted account]

As a generalisation- i would agree with yr hubby. Obviously there are exceptions in individual cases though.

Jane - posted on 05/11/2011

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You can stop drinking and never drink again, but you will always be an alcoholic - that is someone who cannot drink.

Rape is more a crime of violence than of lust and rapists can be rehabilitated if they want to be. But as the old punchline goes, first they have to want to change. Since many violent criminals see no reason to change the rate of recidivism is quite high. Even if they take libido-reducing drugs these men are still capable of committing violence, and far too often they do.

However, pedophiles apparently cannot "repent" and change the target of their desires. However, they CAN become celibate and, so as far as society is concerned, never touch a child ever again.

Christina - posted on 05/11/2011

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Not really sure. I left my ex-husband because I caught him downloading child porn. He got restricted visitation through the courts. Even if he goes to therapy and I get a clean "bill of health", I will never allow him to be alone with my children. Ever. There are some mistakes, even if a person can be rehabilitated does not mean they should get a second chance at certain things. Sure, do their time, come back into society. But you still have to pay the price (like not being allowed to be alone with children, ect.)

Stifler's - posted on 05/11/2011

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No. Alcoholics will always be addicted, some just abstain from alcohol they still know they are an addict and can't just drink willy nilly and no harm come from it. Same with drugs and being a rapist.

Mrs. - posted on 05/11/2011

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Everyone can...a small amount do. Of course, there are some changes that are easier than others too.

Mechelle - posted on 05/11/2011

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I absolutely believe that people can change. It takes a strong person to get over issues like being addicted. I think that the more that they have in their life, and the more people to believe in them, makes it easier for them to work through it. Circumstances have a lot to do with people changing. For instance, before I got pregnant with my first child, I partied...A LOT!! As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I quit everything (except smoking cigarettes), quit talking to everyone that I partied with, and became a parent.

It all depends on the person and what is important to them, whether they are willing to change.

Michelle - posted on 05/11/2011

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I think those 2 are totally different..like an alcoholic can change..just like a drug addict, someone who smokes...but its a constant struggle. As for a rapist thats a whole other thing, thats not something you start doing cause you friends are..so to speak..its an illness..i dont think a rapist can stop..they may slow down but if the chance arises they will reoffend.

JuLeah - posted on 05/11/2011

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Mostly, I agree with your husband. But, people can suprise you. An addict, will always be an addict, but can become an addict with better life skills who no longer needs the drug to get through the day ... a rapist? Odds are, I'd not trust that person again.
I think what's important is not to live for that change, for that future. Accept the person for where they are today and assume no change will ever happen .... accept the change if it does. I know folks that marry someone who who they think that person could be with their guidence, and not for who they are today. That is a mistake.

Kimberly - posted on 05/11/2011

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oh no trust me he has never been alone with my kid. but we have talked about what happened in the past, and there is total forgiveness with me and my sisters. its been about three years since he has been back. i tell him how we are the rules of our house. he respects that he is my younger brother so i have resumed my role as older sister.

Kelly - posted on 05/11/2011

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I thoroughly agree with Mrs. K. Collins... Additionally.. For anyone to change they first have to admit that there is a problem. If they admit to that then they are open to change the behavior. It really does depend upon the person though. It's like me standing at the mall pointing a finger at everyone that walks by saying they're going to hell..or they're going to heaven. No one person can really decide that for another.

Pamela - posted on 05/11/2011

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My experience is that people can change, They can change the way they feel and think about themselves and others, even their core personality traits can be changed, when they to become honest with themselves and others. A person should take responsibility for the wrongs they have done against others and make resitution for those wrongs. If you want others to respond differently to you, you have to change. I don't buy that once you are this or that, that you can't change. (Though, real change is hard to do, especially for sexual behaviors.) Change comes with understanding why you did the things you did, and doing what it takes to change your thinking about the action and the results. This personal responsibility changes the way you interact with others, and changes the way they respond to you. You can learn NOT to give in to impulse behaviors, by keeping yourself out of the situations that cause you to react with sex, drugs, and drink...etc. Same for shoplifting, and irrational fears...etc. All behavior is learned either by example or by need. Coping skill start in infancy. Those who do destructive behaviors to others and/or themselves do so to cope with the overwhelming feelings. As for you brother and your relationship, remember he was a child, too. He was learning coping skills and needed to be loved, Taught, by example, that love is sexual. I am glad you forgave him, and you have a relationship with him. Learning to trust speaks volumes to your changing who you are, (example: you would not allow him to touch you again.) And hopefully, he learned that it is wrong, too. I speak from experience. I was abused sexually, physically, and emotionally. I learned to heal, forgive, and change the way I think about those who hurt me and myself. You can't change the past, but you can change how you feel about the past and how much you will allow the past to control who you are today. Note: education on what rape, molestation, etc. are can help your trust issues. A brother molesting a sister, CAN be a need to feel powerful in the family as a child, but when he becomes an adult and understands that it is wrong, he can change, and never molest again. Again, it depends on the person. Sexual abuse is about power, not sex.

Louise - posted on 05/11/2011

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I think if you are of that mind to attack another individual and violate them then that can never be taken away. The power surge they once felt to do this will always be in the back of there mind that they could do it once they can do it again. I do not believe a rapist can be changed. They can try and forget that urge but it will always be there.

However I do feel an alcoholic can change enough to stop if he wishes to and can successfully dampen the urges to drink if he is strong enough. This also goes with drugs to as they are not inflicting pain or power over others and can control there feelings if they so wish and are of a strong enough mentality.

Rosie - posted on 05/11/2011

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a person can change IMO. but there has to be the right circumstances for it to happen. i don't hold too much faith in someone who started abusing at such a young age. it may be possible, but i wouldn't let my children around someone who did that a long time ago. no matter how much they say they've changed. it's too big of a risk for me to take.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/11/2011

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Addictions are for life. Anyone who has ever quit an addiction is pretty aware of that. Rapists might be rehabilitated depending on the reasons behind it I think. A child who was molested themselves is also a victim. It`s really sad that horrible things like that perpetuate themselves. That`s just a whole different kind of thing than a sociopath who rapes. Sociocpaths cannot be cured. I`m pretty sure of that.

September - posted on 05/11/2011

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Sure a person can change but they have to want to change and not be forced to change by others. I’ve seen people change tremendously within my own family so I know it's possible.

Shannintipton - posted on 05/11/2011

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I think people change all the time. It doesnt me they change for the better. {:+)

[deleted account]

Of course they can.If the stop doing what was causing harm to them or others.That's a change in its self.

Amanda - posted on 05/11/2011

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People dont change, they can cover up who they are, but they dont really change. Do I think people can grow and change their personal opinions for sure, a racist can decide that racism is wrong, but an addict is an addict, a rapist is a rapist, an asshole is an asshole lol.

Kimberly - posted on 05/11/2011

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and one last thing all of your comments have reasured me that my addictive behavors have not changed only my surroundings. but i have been talking to my brother for a long time now i chose to go threw intensive treatment to get where i am at now. i have had so many people tell me that there is either something wrong with me to keep talking to him. or how could i ever let him around my child. i still have faith in people i have to believe people have the right to show me they have changed. or there would be no such thing as second chances.

Kimberly - posted on 05/11/2011

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well see my brother at age seven started molesting me and my sisters it was because thats what he was taught by his mom. he has been threw treatment for many years. and i dont mean the normal treatments, i mean put inside a jail and counciled for consecutive years,to reabilitate him. my husband feels he has not changed. i actually talk to him now, and let him see his nephew. my husband tells me he is still the same person he was.

Katherine - posted on 05/11/2011

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IMO, absolutely NOT. One an alcoholic/addict always one. I speak from experience. A rapist however might be rehabilitated. But I think it would take a lot of counseling.
Alcoholism and addiction are diseases.
Although the crime is incredibly heinous, and should be considered nothing short of murder, one cannot deny that even the most vile of rapists can be rehabilitated. Rape, like any other violent crime, is usually motivated by a deep-seeded psychopathy. This illness can be addressed and treated, therefore addressing the impulse to do harm, even to rape. Studies have been done where, with the help of chemical castration during the reformation process, rapists and other violent sexual criminals have been able to combat and even end the urge to act on these impulses in violent ways. So, the answer is yes - rapists can be rehabilitated.

However, there is a larger question at issue here. Rehabilitation, including medical and psychiatric treatment, is very expensive and time consuming. Therefore, one must consider whether or not society has the responsibility to rehabilitate criminals. Of course, if the crime is relatively benign like shoplifting or even auto theft, the issue is different from violent capital crimes such as murder or rape. Rapists can be rehabilitated, but should society take the time to do this? Polls of citizens in different parts of the United States have uniformly indicated that people do not believe the government should rehabilitate such violent offenders.

The central issue is this - is rape a capital crime? If it is to be considered a capital crime, then it is punishable by life imprisonment or death. If rape is not to be considered a capital crime, then at some point the rapist will be integrated back into society. In this case, I would argue rehabilitation is not only a choice, it is a responsibility. If a rapist still has the urge to rape when released, even chemical castration will not stop him or her, the offender will just use another object to fulfill the violent desires. Remember that rape is not about sex, it is about violence. Someone does not have to be able to climax to rape.

Once it is determined whether or not rape is a capital crime, the logical progression to the question of rehabilitation is easy to make.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_rapists_be...

Krista - posted on 05/11/2011

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I can answer for alcoholics - I grew up with an alcoholic father. As an alcoholic, you can be rehabilitated, but you will always be an alcoholic. My dad quit drinking when I was 7, and never had a drink again, but he had a very addictive personality and knew that if he ever did start drinking, he'd go right back to where he was before rehab. There's no "social drinking" for alcoholics. So, yeah, in that aspect you can change your habits, but not who you are.

Jenn - posted on 05/11/2011

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A person can change if they choose to. Unfortunately not too many people are mentally strong enough to do so.

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