I always thought it would be obvious. That you just avoid letting your kids become altar boys or chaperone school trips that require overnights. I thought strangers were much more scary than people I know and trust.
as much as 90% of abuse is perpetrated by people known to the child & family. As many as 30-40% of abusers are immediate or extended family members, and as many as 40% of abusers are other children. Only 10% or less are estimated to be strangers.
…they come after them at night when everyone’s asleep.
…they do it right in the same room as the parents.
…they “groom” the parents and the child. They are or become loved and trusted by both.
…Grooming often starts with borderline behavior (roughhousing, tickling, having kids sit in laps, rubbing, etc) in the presence of other adults in order to normalize the behavior with the child as being acceptable – if mom or dad isn’t objecting, then this must be OK.
…they look for signs that parents may easily dismiss a child’s feelings or opinions.
…not all child molesters are pedophiles. Some have just “found” the opportunity. They’re depressed, have gone through something traumatic in their lives, have a substance abuse issue, have control issues, be socially awkward or an outcast, or have sexual immorality issues. And so…
…they seek out easier prey: the shy child, the loner child, the insecure child, etc. But if the opportunity presents themselves with any child, they’ll take it.
Here’s what I didn’t know then, am thankful I listened to and know is the 1st tool in the line of defense between your child and these predators: Listen to your gut. If you sense something is wrong, there is truth to that. LISTEN.
Your instinct is based on truth and the purpose of your instinct is to avoid danger. Who cares what people think. It’s what you think that matters when it comes to keeping your Baby safe.