Here’s a “How to spot a paedophile” article that isn’t stupid, and is actually useful.
Check out WikiHow’s How to Identify a Pedophile.
While I don’t agree with everything they wrote, and I think they left out important stuff, I think this is a great starting point for worried parents. In addition to reading Gavin De Becker’s Protecting the Gift of course.
Here’s an excerpt from the article (i.e. here’s where I copy and paste the most useful stuff for you to read):
Look for signs of grooming. The term “grooming” refers to the process the child molester undertakes to gain a child’s trust, and sometimes the parents’ trust as well. Over the course of months or even years, a child molester will increasingly become a trusted friend of the family, offering to babysit, take the child shopping or on trips, or spend time with the child in other ways. Many child molesters won’t actually begin abusing a child until trust has been gained. Some may use others opinions around them to back up their trustworthiness in order to take children shopping.
- Child molesters look for children who are vulnerable to their tactics because they lack emotional support or aren’t getting enough attention at home or will try to convince the parents their children are safe with them and that they are not going far. The child molester will attempt to step in as the “parent” figure for the child.
- Some child molesters prey on the children of single parents who aren’t available to provide as much supervision or convince parents that they are nice enough people to supervise without them.
- A child molester will often use a range of games, tricks, activities and language to gain trust and/or deceive a child. These include: keeping of secrets (secrets are valuable to most kids, being seen as something “adult” and a source of power), sexually explicit games, fondling, kissing, touching, sexually suggestive behaviour, exposing a child to pornographic material, coercion, bribery, flattery, and—worst of all—affection and love. Be aware that these tactics are ultimately used to isolate and confuse your child.
I think one of the holes of the article is not emphasising the role of grooming. For example the author left out that grooming (a.k.a. escalation) is the process of getting a child to do increasingly uncomfortable things, one small step at a time. Think of it as the tickling version (or keeping secrets version) of a stranger offering your child a small sweet to walk one step towards the stranger’s van. Then a bigger sweet to go 5 steps. Then a whole chocolate (plus a puppy dog) to get your child to go all the way to the van.
One of the other points that I think needs emphasising is the grooming of parents. Child molesters get away with it for so long because they also condition (groom) the parents into trusting them. Until they catch the paedophile in the act the parents might be the pedophiles strongest supporter and automatically trust him over their child, maybe even telling the child that they must have misunderstood what was going on, or to stop making up stories. How much this adds to the kid’s mental problems I can only guess.
For some reason this picture comes to mind:
And this news article: