The Faces of Child Predators
(1/26/14) What do these all have in common? A Sheriff’s Deputy, a police officer, a youth soccer coach, a math teacher, a church youth counselor, a former Indy Car driver, a school employee, an ex-Baptist preacher, an ex-Marine, a retired Fire Department Captain, a doctor and a female daycare worker… All were arrested the last few days on charges relating to sexual abuse on a child or child porn. These are just a few of the faces of the types of sick individuals who prey on kids. And this is just what I pulled up on the first two pages of a Google search for “arrested on child sex charges”.
Another thing these people have in common is the fact that none of them are registered sex offenders. Every single day people are arrested for victimizing children. Most are being charged for the first time. However it is probably not the first time they abused a child. Tragically, many child molesters victimize kids for years before they get caught. But how can that happen?
Unfortunately it is rather simple when you understand that 93% of the time these people are abusing children who know and trust them. The majority of these children are “groomed”, manipulated into situations in which they have no control. This can enable a predator to repeatedly victimize a child or children.
As a parent, you are probably doing everything you can to protect your child, isolating them from dangerous people and places. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you can’t do it. It is impossible. There are simply too many situations and too many people out there that can pose a threat to your child.
Look at it this way. You are the first line of defense, so do all you can, but realize that your children are the last line of defense. So give them all the knowledge and skill sets to help them make the best decisions possible. Teach them some of the lures predators utilize and how to recognize potentially dangerous situations, along with how to react if the need arises. Stop sending the “Stranger Danger” message, which is flawed in every possible way. Establish and maintain open lines of communication within your family, talk and, more importantly, listen to your child every single day. Educate your child about personal boundaries, how to respect other people’s boundaries and how to react when boundaries are crossed and work each day to build confidence in your child.
The fact is that a child who is able to say, “No, I don’t keep secrets from my mom and dad”, can stop many predators in their tracks. Most child molesters test the boundaries of a child to see how far they can go. They use secrets to see if a child will comply and then keep going until they develop control of the child. A child who, at the first warning sign, stands up and says “No” and then tells is much less likely to be victimized.
Remember, over 9 out of 10 times a child is sexually abused, it is someone the child knows and has contact with on a fairly regular basis. We also have to come to the realization that 39% of sexually abused children are victimized by a family member! Too many families do the very same thing that Penn State did, the same thing the Catholic Church did… They decided that the “image” of the institution is more important than the well-being of the children in their care. This has to change. Instead of protecting the abuser, which tells the victim they are not important, parents must act. See it as getting help for a sick individual, not as turning in Uncle Bill.
Above all, we must end the silence. Our children are truly the most precious resource on the planet. We must act in their best interest at every opportunity and if that means a family member goes to jail then so be it. It is everyone’s moral responsibility to protect children.
Child Rescue Network’s “Empowerment Not Fear” program is literally changing the way parents think and act when it comes to protecting their children from sexual predators. It is free to parents and available for churches, PTAs, HOAs, apartment complexes, MOMs Clubs and other parenting groups. Even businesses can invite CRN to provide the program for their employees. Contact Child Rescue Network today!