Pedophiles have few, if any, adult friends or adult interests.
The majority of their time is with children, often to the neglect of their own family. They work with children, volunteer with children, teach child bible classes and take phone calls at home from children. They have minimal interaction with adults.
They have the same toys as the kids on the block, display swing-sets, theme parks and other lures, and are knowledgeable on g-rated movies, Saturday shows and kid stars. They welcome children into their home and refer to them as “little friends.”
They sexualize children and make inappropriate comments about children and to children.
They tell children how mature they are and treat them far beyond their years in offering them alcohol, tobacco, adult magazines, nudity and such, all towards making them a victim.
They believe that molesting can be soft, gentle and loving. That the child wants sex with them and enjoys it, that sex with a child is love. They give examples of other cultures and ancient times, anything to justify their twisted thoughts and distorted beliefs.
Called “grooming”, the offender treats the child like a girlfriend with an inappropriate showering of gifts, attention and affection to make the child feel obligated and guilty if he or she says “no.” The offender later justifies his abusing the child by a sense of entitlement: “Look at what I did for her! She owes me!” Grooming with attention is a powerful manipulation with children starved for affection.
Offers to baby-sit, drive them to school, take them to parks and weekend camping are efforts to separate the child and molest them.
Their “pretend normal” behavior is a mask to deceive others into thinking they are good guys, pillars of the community. Coaches who “horseplay”, grandfathers who sit their teen-aged grand-daughter on their laps, singers who build theme parks and share their bed with children, religious leaders who counsel children and boy scout leaders on weekend trips, dad and uncle, grandpa and cousins, and aunts, mothers, grandma and all, the list goes on.
Right in front of you, it all seems so darned innocent, yet, you feel sick at your stomach because you know what is really going on but are afraid to confront it.
Beware the “Religiose.” Pedophiles hide well in religious settings, believing they are superior and immune from suspicion because they can quote scriptures. They also believe they are “forgiven” for abusing children.
When you have the urge to vomit, are repulsed by someone without reason, feel a deep shame at witnessing something, feel a dread, go with it. Honor it. Keep your children away from it.
Should your child take a dislike to someone or refuse to go somewhere, there may be good reason. Talking about it and respecting your child’s feelings gives her strong boundaries and may be life-saving.
When the offender is in the home, as often the case, look for avoidance of intimacy, lack of communication with you and inappropriate affection to your child. The key is your child’s change in behavior.
IF your child comes to you and tells you someone touched her, believe her. You are her only hope.
Caveat: not every person who likes children, interacts in healthy ways and enjoys their company is an offender! Consider these red flags carefully and in context along with everything else. Do not make assumptions or jump to conclusions!