What are the consequences?

Many people who commit a sexual offence say that they were so caught up in what they were doing that they never stopped to consider the possible consequences for the victim, themselves, or those closest to them. As well as the immediate emotional impact, if someone is arrested for committing a sexual offence against a child they may:

  • have to leave the family home, or have supervised access to their own or other children
  • disclose to their employer, especially if they work in a situation in which they have access to children. For teachers and medical personnel, for example, arrest will lead to immediate suspension.
  • face financial and other hardships, particularly if employment is hard to come by
  • go through a lengthy legal process
  • be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register (SOR)

For people who commit sexual offences, but also those troubled by their sexual thoughts, there might be other consequences that are more personally impacting for the individual, such as:

  • low self-esteem
  • feelings of guilt and shame
  • negative effect on mental health
  • feelings of distress
  • possible reduction in healthy sexual interests
  • developing ‘distorted’ views about children and sex


Support and information

If you would like to talk to someone about any of the issues raised above, please call the Stop It Now! helpline on 0808 1000 900.

If you would like more information about the criminal justice process and the Sex Offenders Register, please click here.

For those with children, you will find more about Children’s Services here.

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