A sex offender continually seeks ACCESS AND PRIVACY with their intended target as part of their manipulation and grooming process. In addition, there are often other warning signs and behaviors that can indicate that someone may not be safe for your child to be around. Use common sense, monitor certain relationships that others have with your child, particularly if there are indicators that give you an “uh-oh feeling” or that just doesn’t seem right.


Red flags can often be early warning signs of a sex offender’s grooming process. One red flag does not immediately indicate that the person is an offender, but does suggest that this person’s behavior be monitored more closely. More than one red flag should be taken seriously, and steps should immediately be taken to protect the child.

  1. Someone who continually tries to arrange time alone with a child, often with lots of reasons or excuses to exclude you.
  2. Someone who repeatedly befriends one “outstanding” child, singling them out, lavishing them with extra attention, praise, gifts, affection.
  3. Someone who frequently offers favors to “help you out”; i.e. babysitting for free, transporting a child to activities, offering free lessons, or taking kids on overnight trips without other adults.
  4. Someone who uses guilt tactics when the child or parent insists on setting boundaries.
  5. Someone who insists on being physical with a child, (hugging, kissing, tickling, wrestling, lapsitting) even when the child does not want this physical attention.
  6. Someone who makes inappropriate comments about a child’s looks or body, particularly sexualizing a child.
  7. Someone who continually invites children to spend time alone at their home, enticing them with the latest video or computer games, toys, gadgets, etc. Especially adults who do not have children of their own.
  8. Someone who repeatedly ignores social, emotional, or physical boundaries and limits, and seems to have no boundaries of their own.
  9. Someone who frequently enters a bathroom or locker room where children are changing or showering and does not respect a child’s need for privacy.
  10. Someone who prefers to spend most of their free time with children and seems to have no interest in age-appropriate relationships or friendships.
  11. Someone who appears especially preoccupied with one child.
  12. Someone who seems just too good to be true.
  13. Someone who insists on closed doors and an unobservable environment whenever they are with your child.
  14. Someone who is overly interested in the sexuality of a child or a teen and frequently asks sexually oriented questions
  15. Someone who seeks to isolate the child from others.
  16. Someone who treats a child as if he or she were older.
  17. Someone who offers expensive gifts or money to a child for no reason.
  18. Someone who undermines a parent’s authority by allowing children (especially pre- teens) to engage in behaviors or activities that a parent does not allow.
  19. Someone who frequently engages in accidental touching, touching games, or invades a child’s personal space.
  20. Someone who frequently volunteers to rescue a single parent, stepping in and taking care of parental duties, suggesting they can be a “role model” for the child.
  21. Someone who uses secrecy, blame, or threats to maintain control or intimidate a child.
  22. Someone who offers to teach lessons to a child for free as a favor to the parent, when they would normally be paid for this job.


Sections on this page have been adapted from: SafelyEverAfter



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