One of the worst nightmares a parent will face is that their child will be molested. And while there are plenty of predators out there who parents would never let near their child, sometimes the threat is less obvious. A child molester often exploits the trust that parents place in them and the institutions where they work or volunteer. Knowing what warning signs to look for is critical to protecting your child.
Attorney Paul Mones has dedicated his practice to fighting for survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one have a child who was molested, or if you are a victim of child molestation, reach out to our dedicated team.
Two Types of a Child Molester
One type of child molester is the obvious one. This is the man who waits in a car outside a church or school and entices young children to get in. This type of child molester may use candy, dirty pictures, or even puppies and kittens to lure a child, then violently molest him or her.
But these are not the child molesters we worry most about, because parents generally know to keep their kids away from them. That’s where the second type comes in. This is the child molester who holds a position of trust or works for an institution that is well-respected and trusted. Youth group leaders, Boy Scout leaders, priests, athletic coaches – these are the individuals whom parents allow to have a great deal of authority and control over their children. And tragically, they’re the individuals who parents least suspect will harm their children.
What Do We Know About a Child Molester?
While it’s not true that in every single case child molesters share the exact same traits, there are certain characteristics that most of them will exhibit. Specifically concerning molesters who work in positions of trust, here is what we do know about the vast majority of them:
- They are single and unattached. We tend to find that child molesters are not married or in a relationship with anyone.
- Most are men. Women child molesters exist, and parents should be just as wary if a woman is exhibiting warning signs. However, most child molesters are men who abuse young girls or young boys.
- They show an unusually strong interest in children. Molesters tend to display an eager willingness to be around children. They cater to them, shower them with gifts, and otherwise show a strong and unusual interest in them.
- Many interact with children outside of normal hours. You will often find child molesters communicating with children all hours of the day. School doesn’t have to be in session, nor does a ballgame have to be playing, for a molester to try to contact your child.
- They try to help the child outside of what they usually do. This could include offering to help a child with homework, to drive the child to a game or an appointment, or otherwise doing something that’s not within the person’s normal job description or expectations.
- Their homes are kid-friendly. Child molesters often have games, toys, and other kid-appropriate items around their house because they want children to spend time there. The abuse may also request that the child come to their house to do homework or other activities that they wouldn’t normally do.
- Sketchy or unusual job history. Child molesters tend to jump from job to job, and sometimes from one city or state to another. They don’t keep jobs long because they are found out and try to escape.
What Is Grooming?
All of these concerns raise the issue of grooming. Grooming is a methodical process by which a child molester will patiently work to build trust between himself and both the parents and the child victim. The goal is to gain access and alone time with the child, and it usually happens through subtle and gradual steps. Child molesters are patient, and they know that parents would pull the child back if they advanced too quickly. Grooming is how they attempt to short-circuit parents’ natural instincts.
Trust Your Instincts
Parents often have a certain uneasy feeling around individuals who later turn out to be child molesters. It’s important that they follow their instincts. There are innumerable cases in which a child was molested, and upon later reflection, a parent or other community member realizes they had a feeling something was off. They recognized the molester displayed an unusual interest in the victim but dismissed their concerns. Perhaps, they may have reasoned, the abuser was simply trying to be nice.
Because not every case falls perfectly within a pattern, another critical step for parents to take is to constantly monitor their child’s interaction with adults. It’s not necessarily wrong, for example, for a coach to take the team out for a pizza party after a game. But a parent has to stay involved and keep an eye out for warning signs.
We’re Here To Fight For You And Your Child
Child molesters inflict physical, mental, and emotional harm on their victims, who often require years of treatment to cope with the damage. Far too many of these predators are protected by the institutions in which they work or volunteer. When these organizations try to turn a blind eye to the abuse, we get to work fighting for your child and your family. Give Paul Mones a call today if your child was molested.
Transcript of video:
Many people will tell you there’s no single profile of a child molester. But I think what we have to look at is this two types of child molesters. There are child molesters like the guys sitting outside a school or outside an arcade who draws the kid in with candy but draws the kid in with showing the kid dirty pictures and then gets the child and violently molests the child. That’s one kind. That’s not the kind of child molester we’re talking about here.
What we’re talking about are those people: teachers, youth leaders, priests, Scout leaders, who work in youth organizations, institutions of trust. And while it’s not true in every single case we can we pretty much know that most child molesters have these kinds of characteristics. Oftentimes and again we have to realize that over 90% of people who molest children and some statistics show it higher are males who molest young girls and males who molest young boys.
And we also of course have the parents who molested children we’re not talking about those people as well.
We’re talking about people who molest in the context and institution. And in these situations, we tend to find that these people are single unattached persons. These people present a terrific eager interest in children. They cater to children. They know what children like almost better than the parents who send their children to these institutions know. They present themselves as people who will spend any hour of the day to meet the child’s needs. So after the child leaves the Scout Troop or after the child leaves the Boys and Girls Club, they come home and they need something, for instance, go to food, travel for school supplies, that person will do it for them.
So again what people need to look at is people who are overeager to be around children. People whose homes, when they go into the person’s home they see they have kid games around the house. They have things that children will be attracted to because the one thing about child molesters is that they know what children want. They have practiced it for years and years and years.
And the thing about child molesters is they and the way that the way they practice, they go from job to job attempting to molest, molesting children and leaving if somebody figures out who they are. And so molesters while they’re not cut out of one cookie-cutter there are people who seek the attention of children.
And it’s a gut reaction to the extent that nobody can say, “Yes that’s a child molester.” But people have a queasy feeling when people are interviewed. Typically after these cases are over they’ll say “You know I always thought that so-and-so, he always wanted to be around my kid but I thought he just was being nice about it because my kid never complained.”
And so, oh I think the most important thing to take away is you’re going to look for people, typically single males, who have a great interest in the child. Even coaches who want to do more for the kid even, after the coaching is over. They want to take the kid out for, and there’s nothing wrong with this obviously, because the coaches my kids’ coaches have done this in the past, want to take the kids out for dinner afterwards. But you really have to monitor that. You really have to look that because when it becomes a pattern and practice in their behavior then you have to be concerned.
And so while again most people will be told there’s no profile to a child molester: The person that spends a lot of time with your kid the person. That gives presents to your kid the person. That shows up at strange times like in the early evening to take your child to a music lesson when you haven’t called them. The person who offers to babysit your child from the school. A teacher who wants to have the child come over and do some work on their house and pays them.
Those are the types of people that you should at least be concerned about and look closely at because child molesters disappear into the fabric of the culture they’re live in. And so it does take, that’s why training is so important to really help identify these people. That’s what we have experts in our cases come in to talk about the grooming process because child molesters know how to groom and the grooming process is… recognizing the grooming process is recognizing the profile of a child molester.