Who is the typical child molester?
- I am probably well known and liked by you and your child.
- I can be a man or a woman, married or single.
- I can be a child, adolescent, or adult.
- I can be of any race, hold any religious belief, and have any sexual preference.
- I can be a parent, step-parent, relative, family friend, teacher, clergyman, babysitter or anyone who comes in contact with children.
- I am likely to be a stable, employed, respected member of the community.
- My education and my intelligence don’t prevent me from molesting your child.
- I can be anybody.
How do I gain access to your child?
It is very easy to gain access to your child.
- I pay attention to your child and make them feel special.
- I present the appearance of being someone you and your family can trust and rely on.
- I get to know your child’s likes and dislikes very well.
- I go out of my way to buy gifts or treats your child will like.
- I isolate your child by involving him/her in fun activities so we can be together — alone.
- If you are a single parent, I may prey on your fears about your child lacking a father figure or stable home life.
- If my career involves working with children, I may also choose to spend my free time helping children or taking them on “special outings” by myself.
- I take advantage of your child’s natural curiosity about sex by telling “dirty” jokes, showing them pornography and playing sexual games.
- I will probably know more about what kids like than you do; i.e. music, clothing, video games, language, etc.
- I may make comments like, “Anyone who molests a child should be shot!” or, “Sexually abusing a kid is the sickest thing anyone can do.”
- If I am a parent, it is even easier for me to isolate, control, and molest my own children. I can sexually abuse my children without my wife ever suspecting a thing. I gradually block the communication between my children and their mother, and make it look like I’m the “good guy”.
- I may touch your child in your presence so that he/she thinks you are comfortable with the way I touch them.
Why don’t child molesters always get caught?
- Remember, once I start, I will do everything possible to continue molesting your child. I am sexually turned on by kids and I enjoy being sexual with them. If I have had a lot of practice, I can become very skilled at offending.
- I will not stop on my own.
- I am very selfish and do not care if my behavior is hurting your child.
- After I’ve begun molesting your child, I maintain their cooperation and silence through guilt, shame, fear and sometimes “love”.
- I convince the child that they are responsible for my behavior.
- I make the child think no one will believe them if they tell on me.
- I tell the child that you will be disappointed in them for what they have done “with” me.
- I warn your child that they will be the one who will be punished if they talk.
- I may threaten your child with physical violence against them, you, a pet or another loved one.
- I may have gotten the child to feel sorry for me or believe that they are the only ones who understand me.
- If I am a parent or live in a home with children, my behavior may look accidental. I am “accidentally” expose myself or “accidentally” walk in on children while they are using the bathroom or changing clothes.
- If I am a father, my behavior might look “normal” to other people. I may use situations like tucking the kids in at night to touch them sexually.
- I may have told my children that “this is what all fathers do with their children” so they don’t know to tell.
- I may be so good at manipulating children that they may try to protect me because they love me.
- Don’t feel that your child is safe from me! At least one out of every four children will be molested by the age of eighteen. Here are some ways to protect children from me.
- Don’t expect your child to be able to protect themselves from me or assume that they will be able to tell you that I am abusing them.
- Communication: Listen, believe and trust what your child tells you. Children rarely lie about sexual abuse.
- Education: Teach your child healthy values about sexuality. If you don’t teach your child, I will.
- Watch for any symptoms of sexual abuse your child might demonstrate.
- Give your child specific information about where on their body they should not be touched or touch others.
- Let them know that people who touch children’s private parts need help because they have a problem with touching.
- Remind your child that “secret touching” is never the child’s fault. Talk to your child about the ways someone might try to “trick” them into going along with the “secret touching” or not telling you that it is happening to them.
- Make sure your child knows that you want them to tell you immediately if something should happen and that, despite what anyone else may tell them, they will not be in trouble.
- Get to know your child’s friends and the homes in which your child plays.
- Be wary of older children or adults who want to spend a lot of time alone with your child.
- Trust your intuition: If you feel something is not right in your child’s relationships, act on it.
- Learn about the prevention program that your school uses and discuss it with your children. Have “safety talks” with your children several times a year. Add information about the risk of encountering sexually explicit materials and adult offenders in the community and on the internet.
Parents can defeat me if they work together. Educate yourself, your family, and your community.