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Questions and Answers about pedophiles

Q: What are some tricks that sexual predators use?
A: Most childhood sexual abuse occurs with someone a child has an established and trusting relationship with, whether known or not by the parent. Teaching your children about stranger danger is outdated and does not address the reality that most children know and trust those who abuse them. 
Sexual predators are smart, extremely cunning and are often the pillars of the community who we would least expect to molest our children. They will do anything to get access to children. 
Q: Is Most Childhood Sexual Abuse Committed By Strangers?
A: No. Strangers are not the most common perpetrators of sexual abuse. Most children are sexually abused by someone known or related to them, often in a position of trust or authority. Studies indicate that no more than 10% to 30% of sex offenders were strangers, meaning that up to 90% of children sexually abused had some type of relationship with their abuser.
Children are abused most often by someone that they know such as a relative, the best liked coach, the pillar of the community, pediatrician, teacher, scout leader or religious leader. Tricky people who look just like you and me but try to manipulate our children into certain actions or situations.
Q: What Do Sex Offenders Targeting Our Children Count On?
A: As a society we vehemently condemn child molesters but when someone we know in the community is accused, individuals take sides often refusing to believe that "a pillar of the community" could commit this type of a crime. The true seducer type pedophile is extremely good at what he does. He puts himself in a position in his community where he has easy access to children. He will often work hard (sometimes for years) to gain the trust of parents while at the same time be sexually abusing their child. If an allegation is made against this person by another child, it is often too emotionally difficult for families who trusted and allowed the accused into their home to believe that he could commit such an act against a child. The betrayal is too great and many families will not only deny the possibility, but will blame and defame the child making the allegation. This is what the offender counts on. Families tricked by cunning predators could not have possibly imagined the degree of betrayal possible and the extent that a predator would go to, to get at a child.
Q: Who Sexually Abuses Children?
A: Males are reported to be the abusers in up to 95% of cases reported. Most childhood sexual abuse, up to 90% occurs with someone a child has an established and trusting relationship with, whether know or not by the parent. Approximately 30% of that 90% are relatives.
Offenders who commit incest abuse more than one of their children and more than half are also involved with children outside their homes.
Q: Are All Child Molesters The Same?
A: No, child molesters can be divided into two groups. The situational molester is not a true pedophile because he doesn’t prefer having sex with children but instead turns to them for any number of reasons including stress, boredom, curiosity or because he is sexually or morally indiscriminate. The preferential child molester is considered the true pedophile because he prefers having sex with children and actually seeks them out. He is sexually attracted to children and has the potential to molest large numbers of victims.
Q: Are There Different Types Of Pedophiles?
A: Yes, there are three major patterns of behavior that emerge with true pedophiles - seduction, introverted and sadistic. The seducer uses a process known as "grooming" which leads to the eventual sexual abuse of a child. According to Seth Goldstein in The Sexual Exploitation of Children, once offenders target children they will track them down and methodically approach the child to begin the process of seducing him or her. They may over a long period of time, while gaining their trust and even the trust of the family, shower them with gifts and attention all the while waiting for the right moment to abuse the child. The offender will often wait until the victim is willing to trade sexual acts for attention or other benefits they may have received from the offender. 
The introverted pedophile lacks the inter-personal skills necessary to seduce a child so will usually molest strangers or young children. This type of pedophile may marry a woman and have his own children because he does not have the skills to seduce others. He would most likely molest his children from the time they are infants. 
Sadistic Molesters do not appear to be in large numbers according to Lanning. This is the type of pedophile who inflicts pain on child victims. They typically use lures or force to gain access to children.
Q: How Common Is Childhood Abduction?
A: According to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, each year 3,600 to 4,200 nonfamily abductions occur. Of the 4,200 only 300 were strangers to the child. Most nonfamily abductions occur with someone the child has some form of a relationship with. The average victim of abduction and murder is an approximately 11-year-old-girl, who is described as a low risk, normal kid from a middle class neighborhood with a stable family relationship who has initial contact with an abductor within a quarter mile of her home.
Q: Why Are Children Abducted?
A: Family abductions are typically related to custody issues. According to the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children, from a motive perspective, nonfamily abductions can be divided into six broad categories:
*Non-traditional - Very young children abducted predominately by a woman to fill a perceived void in the offenders life. 
*Ransom - Children abducted to obtain financial benefit from the victims family. 
*Profit - Children abducted to obtain financial benefit. 
*Sexual - Children abducted primarily for the sexual gratification of the offender. 
*Killing - Children abducted to be killed. For some offenders the act of killing itself brings arousal and or gratification
*Miscellaneous Criminal - Children abducted for a variety of criminal reasons which might include stealing a vehicle with a child in it or taking a child as a hostage in an escape attempt.
National Center also reports that the vast majority of sexually motivated child abductors, release their victims alive and sometimes even return them to the vicinity of their homes.
Q: What Can I DO To Help Prevent My Child From Being Sexually Abused Or Abducted?
A: Establish and explain healthy boundaries with your child and explain that people have certain roles. For example their music teacher teaches them music, sports coach teaches sports. It is important to be aware and understand the limits or boundaries of those relationships. 
Educate yourself and your children as to the tricks that perpetrators use to lure and/or groom children. stranger Danger child prevention education is outdated and does not address the reality that most children have an established relationship with the abuser or abductor. The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children stress the importance of educating children using clear, calm, reasonable messages about situations and actions to look out for instead of confusing profiles or images of strangers. Incarcerated pedophiles tell us to be suspicious if someone seems more interested in your children than you. One convicted offender said that parents are so naive-they’re worried about strangers and should be worried about their brother-in-law. They just don’t realize how devious we can be.  Another offender told parents that they should know that we will use any way we can to get to children. 
Always monitor your children while they are on the internet and stress the importance of never giving out their name and address.
Q: Are There Any Red Flags That I Can Watch Out For?
A: Yes. Following is a listing of characteristics which on their own may not indicate a problem but accompanied with other red flags may indicate a problem:
- Someone Who Wants To Spend More Time With Your Child Than You
- Someone Who Manages To Get Time Alone With Or Attempts To Be Alone With Your Child Or Other Children
- Someone Who Insists On Hugging, Touching, Kissing, Tickling, Wrestling With or Holding A Child Even When A Child Doesn’t Want This Affection
- Is Overly Interested In The Sexuality Of A Child or Teen
- Spends Most Of His/Her Spare Time With Children And Has Little Interest In Spending Time With Individuals Their Own Age 
- Someone Who Has Few or No Boundaries 
- Regularly Offers To Babysit, Help Out Or Takes Children On Overnight Outings Alone
- Buys Expensive Gifts or Gives Children Money For No Reason
- Takes Children Out For Day Trips or Evening Events Alone
- Frequently Walks In On Children/Teens In The Bathroom Or While Changing
Q: We Recently Received A Sex Offender Notification, What Should We Tell Our Young Child?
A: Explain the concept of tricky people to your child. Tricky People may try to manipulate them into certain situations or actions. They may try to touch children in their bathing suit areas. You may show them the photograph of the offender and explain that this is a tricky person and if the tricky person tries to talk to them they should take three steps back and run like the wind. Further, if they see the tricky person they should let you or another adult know. Some parents will unfortunately give their children misinformation and you want to be sure that any rumors your child is hearing at school are corrected. For example, after a sex offender notification was implemented in a school one 8-year-old child reported to another that her mom got a note home about a lunatic let loose in the area. As unfortunate as it is, that child’s parents missed an opportunity to provide specific information and instill skills that could potentially help that child.
Explain what boundaries are to your child. Boundaries are the limits we establish or may already be established by virtue of the nature of each individual relationship. For example, Coach M has a role and it is to teach a child a certain sport. Teacher has a role as well. Their job is to instruct children in academic matters. Any activity outside the realm of the boundary established must be evaluated and discussed with an adult. 
The blurring of boundaries is often what sex offenders who groom children rely upon so please be aware of those boundaries at all times. One way to do this is to ask yourself the questions, Why? Why does Coach X, Family Friend or Doctor Z want to be alone with My child? Why should my child be receiving special treatment? Why is this person interested in my child?
Q: What Are Behavioral/Physical Indicators Of Sexual Abuse?
A: Not all of the following indicators will mean that your child has been victimized. Some behaviors listed can be part of normal development or stress. The greater the number of indicators present and the more sudden the onset, the more reason you have to be concerned. Physical evidence in genital or rectal areas must be taken seriously and treated immediately.
- A Fear Of Certain Places, People, or Activities, Especially Being Alone With Certain People (Children should never be forced or coerced into giving affection)
- Disturbed Sleep/Frequent Nightmares
- Sudden Mood Swings, Withdrawal, Rage, Fear, Anger
- Loss Of Appetite, or Trouble Eating or Swallowing
- Drastic Change In School Performance
- Sexually Acting Out On Younger Children
- Sexual Behavior or Knowledge Beyond Their Years
- Has New Words For Private Body Parts
- Reverting Back To Outgrown Behavior (bedwetting/thumb sucking)
- Difficulty Walking or Sitting
- Pain, Itching, Bleeding Fluid or Rawness In The Private Are
Q: How Common Is Childhood Sexual Abuse?
A: Studies report that up to one girl in three or four has been sexually abused by age 18 and one boy in four to 10 has been sexually abused. These statistics do not accurately reflect the actual number of sexual abuse occurrences because most abuse goes unreported. Only 1% to 10% is ever disclosed and according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, the average molester of girls will victimize fifty girls before being caught and convicted and the average molester of boys will have victimized 150 boys before being caught and convicted. Further, the typical pedophile commits an average of 117 sexual crimes during his lifetime (280 for those molesting boys). The most vulnerable age for sexual abuse is between 7 and 13 years. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that 54% of sexually abused children are victimized before the age of 7 and 84% before the age of 12.