Although many steps are taken to curb sex crimes, particularly those against minors, these criminal acts still occur. Children are exploited in illegal pornography sites, and with the internet, sex offenders can now readily stalk their victims online. Sexual predators are truly heinous breeds of cyber criminals, preying on the innocent and defenseless.
Identifying Sexual Predators
A significant percentage of sexual assault on children occurs when an adult gets drunk. Apart from intoxicated individuals, another huge concern for parents is the pedophile. Pedophilia is a disorder wherein an adult fantasizes about having sexual relations with a minor. The fantasy is not a criminal offense per se, and not all pedophiles are compelled to act on what they imagine. However, when a pedophile acts on his fantasies, then this becomes a serious criminal offense.
It can be difficult to properly identify sex offenders as they can be disguised in many forms. But here are some examples that can help out those who want to keep an eye out for possible sex predators.
1. Be wary of family or relatives who act inappropriately
A large percentage of children are raped or molested by people they know or individuals whom they are related to. Thus, a parent must watch her child carefully especially if she notices relatives or family members who are acting in a lewd or inappropriate manner towards her child.
2. Be suspicious of adults that encourage closer relationships with kids.
Sex offenders can clothe themselves in many ways. Some even hold high and respected positions in schools, governments and societies. If a parent sees that an adult seems to be encouraging a closer relationship with her child, then she should be wary. Be careful when an adult does the following:
- Flirts with a child or minor
- Wants to spend time alone with a minor
- Utters unpleasant remarks regarding sensitive subjects
3. Keep a close watch on people who frequent playgrounds or schools, especially if they cannot offer valid reasons for their presence.
Most sex predators haunt places where there are also plenty of kids. Playgrounds, schools, and day care centers are only a few examples. When a person seems overly interested in children and hangs around such places every day but he does not have a child or he is not babysitting for someone, then he may be a sex predator.
Parents cannot always be there to protect their kids from harm. Therefore, it’s very important to arm kids with knowledge that will help them identify and avoid dangerous situations.
1. Teach a child to never talk to or go with strangers, nor take anything from them.
2. Discuss with a child what types of touch are considered as healthy or acceptable and what acts are considered as inappropriate.
3. Emphasize how important their bodies are. Children must be taught that their bodies are their own and that anyone who touches them inappropriately is violating them.
4. Stress the importance of communication. Children should know that they can talk to and depend on their parents. Parents should encourage their kids to talk to them about all things.
5. Know children’s friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, and everyone who is in their lives.
6. When in doubt of someone, do not leave your child alone with that person. Because of the importance of child safety and security, it is also vital to properly screen nannies or child caregivers.
7. Always pay attention to children and monitor their activities closely.
Claire Duvall writes for Elliot Savitz Law and other successful law firms. Duvall is a freelance blogger who regularly writes about issues concerning personal injury and criminal offenses.