When do they Strike?
Sexual abusers often target hard-pressed families who are facing difficulties. Single parent families are particularly at risk. Working Mums, Dads working long hours are at risk. For example; the “absent father”. Mortgages and bills have to be paid and the fathers sometimes have jobs which take them away from home.
Families facing emotional difficulties such as death, redundancy and divorce are also a target. The abuser will appear helpful to these families to alleviate their stress zones.
BE AWARE: there are Child Sex Abusers working within their own families both make and female. Many girls are sexually abused by their own peers at school.
Gradually, the abuser may start to offer help with money or time caring for the children, giving parents a break with trips and outings. They can “worm” their way into a situation for years, lurking and waiting their moment.
They offer the child gifts, toys or favours. Beware of adults who are overly keen at placing children on their laps, watch how they do so! Lap sitting should be discouraged, particularly as the child grows beyond a young infant!
PAEDOPHILES ARE PATIENT: they take their time, years in some cases, to prepare the child with touch and nudity, expressing feelings of love and “specialness”.
They may target only one child within a family.
Be aware of anybody showing an ongoing, exaggerated interest in a child, it may not be as innocent as it seems.
Statistics from Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit May 2004 of PROVEN and REPORTED crime states:
60% of abused children are abused by blood relatives
30% by friends and neighbours
10% by strangers
90% of children who are sexually abused knew their abuser!