When a pedophile takes special care to facilitate a trusting relationship with a child and or the child’s parents, he or she is in the act of grooming. The meticulous grooming pattern begins with a pedophile identifying his or her next victim. Pedophiles will seek out children from broken and troubled families, especially single mothers who work one or two jobs away from home. Many times the sexual predator will befriended the parent first as a way to gain access to the child.
The act of grooming a child involves spending time, energy, and money to make a child and even the parent or parents feel comfortable with the relationship. Only after a trusting relationship is established will the child predator start to become more intrusive and to test the boundaries of the relationship by pushing limits. These violations may include hugging, kissing, tickling, wrestling, and invading a child’s privacy while showering, dressing or toileting.
Initially a pedophile will begin to violate the physical boundaries, by accidentally touching the child through his or her clothes to see what kind of reaction he or she receives. If a child or parent, questions the action the predator will likely back off and regain the trust of the child or parents before proceeding.
By befriending the parent or parents, the pedophile gains the trust of everyone in the family. Children are less likely to tell when the relationship turns sexual if the adult is someone he or she knows personally or is a friend of mom or dads. In addition, mom and dad may be less likely to listen to a child when it involves a good friend of the family.
Single parents, especially mother’s will be looking for a positive male role model if there is no father involved. Single mother are more likely to accept offers from a child’s coach or school for help when offered. All parents needs to be vigilant when it comes to allowing someone access to his or her child, and question friendships or relationships that take up a lot of a child’s free time.
Signs that a pedophile may be grooming your child include:
• Telling a child, he or she is a special friend
• Bringing a child special mementos or gifts
• Talking to a child about adult issues like sex or marriage problems
• Giving a child alcohol, cigarettes or illicit drugs, like marijuana
• Inviting a child to spend the night or go camping
Statistically pedophiles sexually exploit one out of every four girls and one out of every ten boys before the age of eighteen. As startling as these statistics are, they are likely even higher due to the sensitive nature of the subject and the fact many children or families never report inappropriate incidents to authorities.
Pedophiles are master manipulators, often convincing the child or family that this is the first time anything like this has ever happened and that it will never happen again. In reality, it is likely not the first, or even the twentieth time something indecent has happened, but because people want to give someone the benefit of the doubt, the incident is swept under the carpet, and this leaves the door wide open for other children to be violated by the same perpetrator.
If an incident violates the privacy or decency of a child call your local law enforcement, and file a police report. Do not let someone violate your child and get away with it out of the fear you may be falsely accusing someone or misunderstanding the situation.
Listen to your child and not the predator. Call your local law enforcement and let them investigate and decide what happened. By filing a police report, you are creating a paper trail, which can show a pattern. Paper trails make the pedophiles actions apparent and more difficult to hide or dismiss in the future.
Silence is golden and harmful to children, if parents do not take a stand for their child then who will. There are monsters in this world looking night and day to find their next victim. Protect your family and always question whom you allow to get close to you or your family. Teach children that coworkers, bosses, and neighbors are not friends or even safe people, as we only know them to the extent they allow us to get to know them.
Child sexual predators will violate hundreds, even thousands of times before finally if ever being caught and the only way to caught one is to tell what happened. Children are never responsible for the decisions an adult makes when sexually exploiting a child, and he or she must be accountable for their actions.