B4U-ACT USA is primarily aimed at three groups of people: individuals who self-identify as attracted to children, mental health professionals who are interested in working with such individuals and/or require guidance on working with them, and researchers interested in studying mental health issues related to such individuals.
Furthermore, B4U-ACT offers resources for relatives of individuals who are attracted to children and engages in public advocacy to educate the public regarding issues faced by such individuals.
B4U-ACT was launched in the USA in 2003 as an organisation with the following purposes:
- To publicly promote services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children and seek such assistance
- To educate mental health providers regarding the approaches helpful for such individuals
- To develop a pool of providers who agree to serve these individuals and abide by B4U-ACT’s Principles and Perspectives of Practice
- To educate the public regarding issues faced by these individuals
B4U-ACT assembled a list of over 30 credentialed practitioners in Maryland who agreed to its Principles and Perspectives of Practice, and who were willing to provide caring and inviting services to clients who are sexually attracted to minors. Lay volunteers were sought who would be trained to operate a hotline for the purpose of referring minor-attracted individuals to these professionals.
Due to the tremendous barriers to communication among minor-attracted adults, mental health professionals, and the public, recruiting these volunteers proved to be unworkable. As a result, B4U-ACT chose to direct its efforts at working to eliminate these barriers.
To do this, it organized a small working group of mental health professionals and minor-attracted adults to identify these barriers, discuss how their elimination would benefit both parties and society in general, and develop plans for interventions to overcome them.
Mode and context of delivery
B4U-ACT is a partnership among minor-attracted people, mental health professionals, and researchers, and its projects and events are organized and led by members of these groups.
Those seeking information, services, or opportunities for involvement can select various options on the website. FAQs, pamphlets, and general information are always available on this website.
For minor-attracted people seeking mental health services to deal with issues related to stigma and/or their sexuality, B4U-ACT maintains a confidential list of therapists who are willing to provide compassionate, affirming therapy that meets their needs. Peer support groups for minor-attracted people and for family members are always available via a password protected online forum or email discussion group.
Annual in-person workshops and monthly videoconference discussions are organized and led by mental health professionals, minor-attracted people, and researchers, and are targeted toward those groups as well as to educators and graduate students in mental health or sexuality. There are also email discussion groups for therapists and researchers, and B4U-ACT representatives are available to speak to student or professional groups, usually remotely.
B4U-ACT also provides assistance for researchers in conceptualizing their studies, constructing their surveys or interviews, and recruiting subjects.
Level/Nature of staff expertise required
Representatives of B4U-ACT include mental health professionals, minor-attracted people, and researchers.
Professionals on B4U-ACT’s list of referral therapists are appropriately credentialed and licensed and willing to provide compassionate, affirming therapy in line with B4U-ACT’s Principles and Perspectives of Practice.
Workshops and discussion groups are organized and attended by minor-attracted people and both experienced and new or future professionals, researchers, and educators.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group
Users of the B4U-ACT website are able to dictate how much they would like to get involved – whether they simply use the website as an information source, choose to seek further help, open a dialogue with the organisation, attend online or in-person events, or volunteer for the organization.
Description of intervention
B4U-ACT provides several services to help support therapists, researchers, students, minor-attracted individuals, and their family members. A summary of the services offered is as follows:
- Advocacy/education (https://www.b4uact.org/know-the-facts/)
- Information for therapists (https://www.b4uact.org/psychotherapy-for-the-map/)
- Workshops for professionals, researchers, and minor-attracted individuals (https://www.b4uact.org/get-involved/attend-a-workshop/)
- Online discussion group for professionals, researchers, and minor-attracted individuals (https://www.b4uact.org/?event=dialog-on-therapy)
- Assistance for researchers (https://www.b4uact.org/research/research-collaboration/)
- Peer support groups for minor-attracted individuals (https://www.b4uact.org/attracted-to-minors/peer-support/) and their families (https://www.b4uact.org/attracted-to-minors/support-for-family-friends-2/)
- Assistance in linking minor-attracted individuals with approved professionals (https://www.b4uact.org/attracted-to-minors/professional-support/)
B4U-ACT evaluates the quality and usefulness of workshops and solicits suggestions for improvement via a survey administered to attendees. Attendees have consistently rated sessions as very good to excellent.
Cacciatori, H. (2017). The Lived Experiences of Men Attracted to Minors and Their Therapy-Seeking Behaviors (Doctoral dissertation). Walden University, Minneapolis, MN.
Cohen, L.J. et al. (2019). Correlates of Chronic Suicidal Ideation Among Community-Based Minor-Attracted Persons. Sexual Abuse, 32(3), 273-300.
Jahnke, S., Schmidt, A.F., Geradt, M., & Hoyer, J. (2015). Stigma-Related Stress and Its Correlates Among Men with Pedophilic Sexual Interests. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 2173–2187.
Seto, M.C. (2012). Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(1), 231-236.
Walker, A. (2017). Understanding Resilience Strategies Among Minor-Attracted Individuals. (Doctoral dissertation)
P.O. Box 1754
Westminster, MD 21158
Phone: (410) 871-8156
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Inquiries: email@example.com
MAP Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-founder and Board Chair: Russell A. Dick, MSW, email@example.com
Information correct at December 2020