In 2018, StopSO will be expanding it’s service to offer therapy to people who have been a victim (or a survivor) of sexual abuse, whether recently or in the past. This will be in addition to our current service -which is providing therapy to perpetrators. We hope this will start in the Summer of 2018, subject to funding. Setting up and implementing that service has not been included in the figures below.
What are the costs of putting one person into prison for one year?
It costs £65,000 to put one person in prison, if one includes police time and court costs (Focus Prisoner Education, n.d.). If one tenth of the people who have asked StopSO for help by September 2017 would have gone to jail, but due to the work with StopSO therapists have not done so, then StopSO has saved the UK tax payer £6.5 million.
StopSO’s funding model
The StopSO model is cost effective. Most clients coming to StopSO pay for their own therapy, making direct payments to their therapist. StopSO therapists pay an annual membership fee, and have recently been paying an additional referral fee for each client that they see, in order to keep the organisation financially afloat.
StopSO’s main expenses are salary (currently 1.5 members of staff), office rental and general running expenses. To thrive, and keep up with the growing demand from clients, StopSO needs funding to expand. Within eighteen months StopSO will need at least four full time members of staff to manage the increasing volume of perpetrator-clients.
Funding required by StopSO for organisational costs for working with perpetrators (both potential and active)
StopSO needs to increase the staffing levels to manage the current and increasing demand from perpetrators. The following figures illustrate the estimated organisational and administrative costs for this:
- In 2018 StopSO requires £200,000
- In 2019 StopSO requires £260,000
Subsidising those who cannot afford to pay for their own therapy
Whilst most clients coming to StopSO pay for their own therapy, approximately 20% of our sex-offender-clients cannot afford to pay. StopSO applies for grant funding to be able to offer subsidies and in 2014/5 StopSO received grants of £7,524. However, since then our fundraising applications for this have been unsuccessful, and StopSO currently (as at October 2017) lacks the funds to be able to offer a subsidy.
Frankly, that puts StopSO in a ludicrous position. When someone rings up, saying “I’m worried. I’ve always been attracted to children, but always managed to control that. I hate myself for it. I am determined never to act on my attraction. Recently my thoughts have been escalating, and I think it could be really helpful to talk to someone. Can you provide me with a therapist who can help me stay law-abiding? I am on benefits.” Instead of being able to say, “Yes, well done for reaching out and asking for help,” we have to say, “Sorry, but we don’t have the funding to be able to help you.” This is devastating for all concerned. Especially when one thinks about the possible consequences. Since no crime has been committed there is nothing to report, and the police would not be interested. However, turning away someone who is asking for help does not feel like a wise choice when considering child protection.
StopSO would like sufficient funds to ensure that no-one is ever turned away. StopSO believes that therapy should be provided free of charge to all perpetrators asking for help who cannot afford to pay for themselves, as a cost-effective way of reducing sexual offending in the UK.
What monies would be required to offer this subsidy?
StopSO anticipates a 220% increase in the number of clients contacting us each year. That means in 2018 we will be asked for help by 1,287 people, of which 257 will not be able to pay for their own therapy. See below for the estimated figures for 2018-2020:
- 2018: To subsidise 257 people, the cost would be £356,000, less than the cost of putting 6 people into prison for one year
- 2019: To subsidise 566 people, the cost would be £847,000, less than the cost of putting 14 people into prison for one year
- 2020: To subsidise 1246 people, the cost would be £2,006,000, less than the cost of putting 31 people into prison for one year
Being funded by the government would be cost effective
Let’s imagine for a moment, that the government funded StopSO’s staffing and administrative fees and provided sufficient funds for subsidised therapy through StopSO. If one person out of every hundred and fifty people that asked StopSO for help, received effective therapy, did not commit a crime and stayed out of the criminal justice system, StopSO would be cost effective for the tax payer.
- Here is the financial breakdown behind the statement, “If 1 person out of every 150 that ask StopSO for help, receives effective therapy, this would be cost effective for the tax payer”
The costs to meet the expected demand in 2018 of dealing with perpetrators can be broken down as follows: The staffing and administrative fees in 2018 are estimated at £200,000. To offer subsidy to the 20% of clients who cannot afford to pay, the cost in 2018 is estimated at £356,000. Add to this the administrative and staffing costs and the total is £556,000. This money would provide therapy for 1287, of which 257 would be subsidised. That equates to a cost of £432 per person. Since it costs £65,000 to put one person into prison, if we divide £65,000 by £432 – that means that if even one person out of every 150 StopSO clients, is kept out of prison (because they have been helped not to commit a crime), then StopSO is cost effective.
What financial support has been given to StopSO so far?
StopSO has not received any government funding. Submitting fundraising applications, so far, has received £62,232 from grants and trusts (as at September 9th 2017)
Funding StopSO to reduce the number of crimes committed
As James Cantor, a psychologist and neuro-scientist who studies paedophiles, and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Sexual Abuse, said in a personal email to me (15 September 2017),
We have government agencies and philanthropists providing funds to help victims after there is a case of abuse. But we have forgotten how much more good could be done by working to prevent it in the first place.
Project Prevention Dunkelfeld, and the funds they receive
As a comparison, Project Dunkelfeld in Germany, receives ministry funding (Scholz, 2016) of €5 million per annum, to support therapy, research and training for people who have a sexual attraction to children.
StopSO wants to reduce the sexual abuse of adults and children, and create a safer society
By providing a potential offender rapid access to treatment in the community, how many sexual offences are being avoided? At StopSO we are dedicated to preventing harm, reducing the sexual abuse of adults and children, and creating a safer society.
Dated: 15th October 2017
Written by Juliet Grayson: Chair of StopSO