Should my step-daughters be told that their step-father has a child pornography addiction?

My husband’s ex-wife married a man who was charged with seven felony counts of pandering involving a minor. He, by his own admission, is addicted to child pornography. My step-daughters are now all teenagers. They do not know. My husband’s ex-wife has kept this information from my step-daughters. The step-father has had issues regarding his pornography addiction recently. The ex-wife minimizes it by saying that he has "repented." It is a constant strain on my husband, knowing that his girls are living with a man who is addicted to child pornography. My own therapist believes the girls should be told. The ex-wife says her therapist says the opposite.

Frank Theus
Frank Theus
MA, LPC, NCC, CSAT

   The information from the other therapists here is sound and prudent. There are what sounds to be real legal (is this man a RSO [registered sex offender]; is he prohibited from being in proximity to minors? use/possession of child porn violates any # of state and federal statues...) and safety issues at play here. Your husband's daughters have an immediate "need to know" and this can be done developmentally-contextual, factually and in a non-shaming fashion. I would further counsel that you and your husband (his daughters welfare is at stake) seek immediate legal counsel. The ex-wife here seems to be between a "rock and a hard place" of her own creation -- she desperately needs care, treatment for herself. 

Resources for Your Consideration: 1) http://www.missingkids.com/home; 2) https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/citizens-guide-us-federal-law-child-pornography

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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