Lures-Behaviours-Tactics of a Child Abuser / Perpetrator
It is essential for a parent to know the characteristics of a child sexual abuser/perpetrator in order to protect their child. It is equally important to understand how perpetrators lure children into their web of harm, and to teach their child how to identify danger and respond to it, and most importantly, to report it to a safe person. However, if adults can be fooled, how much easier is it to fool a child? Parents need to be knowledgeable and continually alert to the dangers around their children. The abuser/perpetrator are always looking for new ways to lure children which is why there are many reasons why abuse may remain hidden. For example, an abuser may manipulate, bribe, coerce or threaten a child (or someone they love) to prevent them from telling anyone about the abuse.
The abusers behaviours include any activity that uses a child to create sexual gratification either in you or in others. Although the touching of children as a sign of affection and for hygiene is considered normal and necessary, there is a way to distinguish normal touching from child sexual abuse. The key is the intention by the perpetrator to be sexually aroused by the activity or the intention to create sexual arousal in others. The intent to use children in any way to create sexual arousal is illegal. This is criminal behaviour that is aggressively prosecuted and severely punished by our legal system.
18 Lures of Sexual Predators
Abusers rely on trickery and deceit to achieve their goals in approaching and seducing their victims. Read the 18 commonly used lures to learn more about how you can proactively protect your children.
- Affection Lure - Most acts of molestation are committed by a person known and trusted by the child.
- Assistance Lure - The methods are unlimited and are meant to entice children away from safety. The offender may pretend to be disabled and in need of a helping hand, which children are usually too willing to offer.
- Authority Lure - Children are taught to respect and obey adults. The offender takes advantage of that respect and obedience by using their positions as coaches, clergy, parents, scout leaders, etc. to intimidate or force children into sexual exploitation or abduction.
- Bribery Lure - Bribes such as candy, money, and drugs are used to entice or manipulate children into situations and/or settings where sexual contact and activity can be initiated.
- Ego/Fame Lure - Molesters use compliments and offers to fame and fortune to lure children into abuse or abduction. Children may be offered private auditions and told to keep it a secret from their parents.
- Emergency Lure - This is used by abductors to confuse or worry the child. The child is then easily manipulated due to their anxiety and fear.
- Friendship - Child Molesters will persuade their victims to bring friends along to join into their “game”.
- Fun and Games Lure - Offenders may suggest innocent body contact games such as tickling or wrestling to facilitate sexual contact.
- Help Lure - Children’s helpful nature is often preyed upon. This commonly includes being asked for directions, physical assistance, or help looking for a lost pet (commonly a baby animal).
- Hero Lure - Molesters may abuse a child’s adoration for them, using it to molest and/or abduct them.
- Internet Lure - A common internet practice today where children are approached online by perpetrators. An exchange of pornographic images is common with the possibility of a face-to-face meeting with the perpetrator. Websites of warning: Facebook.
- Job Lure - The offer of a short-term job or errand may be used to molest or abduct a child. Adolescents and even college students may be attracted by promises of high paying or interesting jobs.
- Name Recognition Lure - Marking clothes and other belongings with the child’s name enables the offender to call the child by name, creating a false sense of familiarity and security.
- Playmate/Companion Lure - The victim may be encouraged or coerced by the offender to usher other children into an abusive setting.
- Pornography Lure - Many child molesters routinely expose their intended victims to pornography thus “normalizing” sexual activity and setting the stage for seduction.
- Threats and Fear Lure - Molesters may blackmail or threaten children into cooperation or silence. They may even confront the child with an actual weapon (i.e. “Get in the car or I’ll shoot you”).
- Drug Lure - Molesters will often use drugs, especially alcohol to incapacitate or seduce children. The lure of drugs is often used in conjunction with pornography.
- Computer/On-Line Lure - Some molesters are actually logging on to the Internet to chat with thousands of children, ultimately luring some into dangerous situations.
How Do Child Molesters Control Victims and Keep Them from Telling?
Glad you asked. Keep in mind that these answers come from molesters themselves:
• I’ll do anything to get to your child and to keep your child once I’ve victimized her. I’ll do anything and say anything to keep assaulting your child and to keep your child from telling. I really don’t care if it’s harming your child–I just care about pursuing sexual gratification.
• I threaten your child with the loss of his family. I tell him he’ll be taken away from his family if he tells, or that his parents will be taken away.
• I threaten your child with violence to her or to her family.
• I manipulate your child into thinking it’s his fault. Or I make him think he’s at least partly responsible and that if anybody gets punished, it will be him.
• I tell your child this is normal parental behavior.
• I win your child’s love and trust with treats, attention, and “love.” If she’s not getting love and attention from you, she’ll get it from me. [Note: This includes children with a full-time stay-at-home parent. If they're not getting love and attention from Dad--or Mom, as the case may be--they'll be looking for it.]
Profile of a “Typical” Child Molester – Written by: Ken Wooden
During my two decades of work as an investigative reporter, I interviewed hundreds of convicted child molesters in prisons across America. My objective was to uncover how they had lured children and teens into abuse and worse. My intention was also to generate a criminal profile that could be shared with parents and law enforcement. Instead, I found child molesters and abductors to be a diverse group that possesses no tidy criminal profile.
Common strategies include:
• Befriending parents, particularly single parents, to gain access to their children.
• Offering babysitting services to overextended parents or caregivers.
• Taking jobs and participating in community events that involve children.
• Attending sporting events for children and/or offering to coach children’s sports.
• Volunteering in youth organizations, offering to chaperone overnight trips.
• Loitering in places children frequent – playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc.
• Spending time in Internet gaming and social communities, learning the online interests and lingo of youngsters.
• Becoming foster parents.
What is the most common method used by child molesters?
The affection lure
Most victims of abuse are “groomed” over a period of weeks, months, or years. The Affection Lure is used both offline and online to seduce unsuspecting youngsters in need of love and attention. Child molesters have repeatedly told me: When there’s a physically or emotionally absent parent in the picture, it makes the child more vulnerable than ever.
Which age group is most often targeted by child molesters?
In the interviews I conducted, the majority of molesters cited a preference for children on the brink of puberty. This is the age of sexual awakening, making it easy for molesters to prey on the sexual curiosity and ignorance of youngsters. To quote one of the predators I interviewed, “Give me a kid who knows nothing about sex, and you’ve given me my next victim.”
While we as parents are inclined to give pre-teen children more freedom and less supervision, this age group is actually the most vulnerable to abuse and abduction. We must talk frankly and often to our children about “the birds and the bees” and not allow child molesters to educate our children for us.
Wouldn’t a vigilant parent be able to detect a child molester? Not necessarily.
• Pedophiles are notoriously friendly, nice, kind, engaging and likable.
• Pedophiles target their victims, often insinuating themselves into that child’s life – their family, school, house of worship, sports, and hobbies.
• Pedophiles are professional con artists and are expert at getting children and families to trust them completely.
• Pedophiles will smile at you, look you right in the eye and make you believe they are trustworthy and reliable.
How many of these assaults were by family members?
• 49% of offenders of victims under age 6 were family members.
• 42% of offenders of victims ages 7-11 were family members.
• 24% of offenders of victims ages 12 – 17 were family members.*
What are their beliefs and goals?
In general, these groups believe that sex with children is harmless; some even claim that sexual relations are healthy for children. Their goals include decriminalizing child molestation and lowering the age of consent.
Where do they meet?
In addition to attending pedophile conferences and conventions, members now meet primarily via the Internet where they may swap methods, success stories, even names, descriptions, and images of children. Since the early 1980′s, they have exploited the Internet to communicate with one another, spreading their propaganda to anyone who will listen.
Aren’t their activities illegal?
Most pedophile groups and members are careful to keep their public activities within the realm of protected civil liberties.
In 2006, a new political party (PNVD) was established in the Netherlands. Commonly referred to as “the Pedophile Party,” it seeks to lower the age of consent from 16 to 12. Opponents had asked The Hague District Court to bar the party from registering for national elections, but Judge H. Hofhuis ruled: “Freedom of expression, freedom … of association, including the freedom to set up a political party, can be seen as the basis for a democratic society.”
Are these pedophile groups a real threat?
While the average child molester does not belong to a pedophile organization, we would be foolish not to take seriously any group whose members are solely committed to sexual activity with innocent children.
While there are sexual predators who are organized and whose activities cause public ire, it is the millions of individual sexual predators worldwide whose day-to-day actions and steadfast determination are a far greater threat to the safety of our children. Knowing this – and knowing that we cannot be with our children every moment of every day – it is essential that we teach them how to recognize and evade the lures used for generations by sexual predators of every kind…”If predators are using the lures, shouldn’t we be teaching our children these lures?”
Parents would do well to heed the steady increase in juvenile perpetrators, as well as the 3 pm peak for child sexual assaults. This speaks greatly to the need for after school facilities and activities for latch-key children who are at greater risk of victimization, even in their own homes.
It is also important to remember that 2/3rds of all crimes are never reported. When it comes to juvenile sexual assaults, the percentage of unreported crimes is undoubtedly higher, given the nature of the crimes and the tender age of victims.
*Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics, by Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D.; National Center for Juvenile Justice, July 2000, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs