Self-help for people having sexual thoughts about children

Who are these webpages for?

This section of the website aims to help people who are concerned about their sexual thoughts or feelings about children or young people. We work to help these people lead positive, responsible and fulfilling lives.

We’ll refer to ‘sexual thoughts about children’ because this is how children and adolescents are legally defined. We know that not everyone using these webpages will have had sexual thoughts about younger, prepubescent children.

Whatever your situation, by visiting this website you have already taken a step in the right direction. We want to support you, just as our website and confidential Stop It Now! helpline have supported many others.

How do I use this website?

We do not collect any personal details or information of individuals who use this website, and we can’t identify them. This website and our Stop It Now! helpline are free, anonymous and completely confidential.

  • The self-awareness section aims to give you more clarity about your sexual thoughts and personal strengths.
  • The self-help section has a series of exercises that will help you understand more about your sexual interest in children and how to manage these feelings.
  • You can find the facts about having a sexual interest in children, including terminology, treatment, what the law says about sexual crimes involving children, and the potential consequences of sexually harming a child.

We recommend that you work through these sections at your own pace and when you are feeling OK in yourself because they can be hard-hitting.

These exercises is based on our experience of working with people who have experienced sexual thoughts about children, including their feedback and suggestions. We hope you find them helpful.

You can talk to us

Our confidential Stop It Now! helpline supports anyone with a worry about preventing child sexual abuse. Some people who contact us have been arrested, while others might have sexually abused a child but have not yet come to the attention of the authorities. Some people contact us because they are worried about their sexual thoughts about children even though they don’t think they will act on them.

The experienced advisors on our confidential helpline can support you with any concerns you have and if you need help as you work through these webpages. If you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, you can also get in touch with us online.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Some people who are concerned about their sexual thoughts about children may have a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), characterised by intrusive or unwanted sexual thoughts about children. These people are not sexually aroused by these thoughts, which instead, cause them extreme distress and anxiety.

If this sounds like it might be true for you, we suggest you speak to your doctor. The modules on this site are not designed to treat OCD. Read more about OCD.


Before you progress further through this website, please read our disclaimer.

The information provided throughout this website is intended for information, self-exploration and self-help only. It is designed to increase awareness in people who may feel that they have a problem with sexual thoughts about children, or have thought about acting on these thoughts but have not already done so, or those who have offended and are seeking to avoid repeating this behaviour.

The information contained in this website is not, and should not be taken as, a substitute for professional advice and/or treatment.

Although the content of the self-help exercises is based on existing research, this research is ongoing and the authors would not wish to make any claims about effectiveness.

All the information contained on this website is intended to increase awareness of a problem, or potential problem, with regard to a sexual interest in children and is not designed to form a diagnosis. Anyone who feels that they may have a problem in this area should seek professional advice from a qualified person.

The Stop It Now! UK and Ireland team accepts no liability for claims by, or damages of any kind whatsoever, to users of this website. This also applies to decisions or actions taken by any individuals on the basis of the information contained on this website.

The information and materials, unless stated otherwise, are copyrighted by Stop It Now! UK and Ireland and are intended solely for the user’s own use.

The contents, design and format of this website are under the ownership of Stop It Now! UK and Ireland and must not be reproduced or distributed without prior permission.

Your use of this website constitutes your agreement to the provisions of the disclaimer.

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