Preventing Child Abuse – “Know the Tricks Used by Sexual Predators”
1. The Apple Of My Eye Trick
The first trick is named after Laura Ahearn’s “The Apple Of My Eye” sexual abuse prevention program. This trick is at the top on her list for the most insidious of all because predators use the same innocent vulnerability we strive to protect in our children for purposes of methodically gaining their trust by giving special attention to them so they can eventually sexually abuse them. Children seek love, attention and affection and sexual predators use this vulnerability to “seduce” a child the same way they would attempt to seduce an adult.
Familiarize yourself with some of the tricks we have identified that sexual predators use to access and target potential victims:
2. Accidental Touching Trick
Children are often unaware that an accidental touching may be intentional or may be an offender attempting to touch closer to genitalia the next time.
3. Assistance Lure Trick
Offenders may ask a child for help with directions or carrying packages. One convicted offender stated that he liked to hang around kiddie hamburger restaurant bathrooms. He would abuse young boys under the guise of helping them with their zippers. Another type of assistance lure may be an offender who senses a role he might play by assisting a family with children. His assistance might be needed for babysitting or for driving a child to activities. Watch for those who are more interested in your child than you, there is a reason.
4. Authority Trick
Many of us have taught our children to respect authority without realizing that individuals who target our children take advantage of their position such as a teacher, coach, religious or club leader.
5. Desensitize Trick
Offenders may continually talk to children about sex or use pornography to demonstrate sexual acts. They may arouse a child’s curiosity by emailing or leaving sexual material and aids around where they may see them.
6. Drug & Alcohol Trick
Drugs or alcohol can be used to incapacitate a child making them highly vulnerable to sexual abuse.
7. Emergency Trick
Crisis can be confusing for young children and offenders count on that so they construct an emergency to lure children.
8. Fame Trick
Promises are made to make the child a model or movie star.
9. Friendship Trick
Older children may bribe a younger child (or same age) by saying that they will not be their friend anymore unless they participate in a sexual act.
10. Games Trick
Body contact games such as wrestling are played where touching genitalia is part of the rules.
11. Hero Trick / Special Privileges Trick
(Coach/Teacher/Person In A Position Of Authority)
Children are often impressed with those individuals they look up to such as those in a position of authority like a coach, teacher, older cousin. They may endure abuse to maintain a relationship where they are receiving special privileges for fear of losing those privileges.
12. “I Know You” Trick
Do not write your child’s name on the outside of any of their clothing or items they use outside of their home such as umbrellas or lunchboxes. This gives the offender an opportunity to make your child feel as though they know them.
13. Internet Trick
The internet has become a preying ground for sex offenders trying to lure victims. Offenders will try to get specific information from your child without directly asking for it. For example they may ask if your child plays on sports teams which would eventually lead to a discussion of where your child played these games. Ultimately, they want to try to set up a meeting. Predators on the internet may also transmit pornography to your child.
14. Job Trick
Promises of high paying jobs easily influence young adults into meeting individuals in questionable places for interviews where they may be sexually abused. Young children may be offered high pay for odd jobs inside an offender’s house where they too may be sexually abused.
15. Legitimacy Trick
There are a few organizations that promote sexual relations with children and attempt to legitimize this activity. Those offenders may attempt to convince a child that sex with an adult is a legitimate activity.
16. Outing Trick
Offender is continually attempting to take a child out alone for special trips or outings and insists that no one else attend. A pediatrician in New York who was convicted of sexually abusing many of his patients would take them away for the weekend quite often. Parents trusted him because he was well liked and perceived as a pillar of the community.
17. Pet Trick
Similar to the assistance lure, the offender may ask a child to help find his lost dog. They may carry props such as a photo of a dog and a leash.
18. Teaching Trick
Assistance is offered to a family to help teach a child a sport or how to play a musical instrument, often without cost. Parents from across the nation have also informed us that sexual predators may be working as driving school instructors.
19. Threat Trick
Children may be threatened into cooperation and further silenced. Once the abuse has taken place, they threaten to expose the child either to their parents or to their friends. The offender may threaten the abused child into recruiting other children.
20. Costume Trick
Most volunteers who dress up as clowns, cartoon characters or as Santa Claus during the holiday season are not pedophiles attempting to access children. However, you should always be aware that there are pedophiles who would do anything to get at kids.