Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stephane Deschenes Responds to Toronto Police Report

Following the arrest of an elderly man accused of sex crimes against children, the Toronto Police stated that he "gained access to children through his affiliation with various nudist organizations around the world".

In a swift response, the Director of the Federation of Canadian Naturists, Stephane Deschanes, took exception to the insinuation that nudist and naturist groups were providing access to pedophiles. Here is the entire press release:

The Federation of Canadian Naturists, like everyone else, is committed to stopping sex offenders and to helping their victims. However, we take exception to the Toronto Police Service Sex Crime Unit's (New Release May 13, 2010, 10h56) characterization that the accused "gained access to children through his affiliation with various nudist organizations around the world".
Unlike organized sports, religious institutions and other activities coordinated by civic organizations, children in naturism are not left in the care of a person in authority. Naturism is based on family participation and children are usually in the care of their parents. As such, being affiliated with a naturist/nudist organization would not provide any more access than joining any other group. In fact, children in naturism may be less vulnerable because naturist environments tend to have a stronger sense of community than the general society. People in naturist clubs look out for each other and are very aware of what is happening in their environment. Individuals with nefarious intent are often easier to identify if they are in a naturist environment.
A multitude of scholarly research studies on this topic in psychology and sociology have shown that children reared in an atmosphere containing casual family social nudity benefit from the practice. Children raised in naturism learn to accept the human body and recognize that everyone is unique. Comfort with nudity combined with naturist values lead to a healthy self-image and strong self-esteem. Although good parenting is by far the most important factor in raising children, naturism helps to promote their confidence and understanding about their bodies.
It is clear that being dressed has not kept children safe. Those who prey on children are attracted to any place where children can be found. It is a sad reality that predators have been found as priests, teachers, scout leaders, hockey coaches, etc... It is therefore unrealistic to suggest that we should avoid any place that might attract them since we would rob our children of all of those institutions that are so important to their upbringing.
The best thing we can do is to teach our children the confidence to speak up when people do things that make them uncomfortable. If they are not ashamed of their bodies, they are much more likely to tell their parents when someone does things to them that they don't like. If we are informed, we can help them. Whether nude or clothed, children should know that being touched in certain ways is wrong and they should have the assertiveness to speak up.
For further information: Stephane Deschenes, Director, Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN),, Cell: (416) 219-5856,

1 comment:

Paul Rapoport said...

The alleged crimes seem to have taken place between 1969 and 1985. That and how the police use the term "nudist" mean that there has been some really bad reporting about this.