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Warning Signs Of An Au Pair Pedophile


When most people imagine a child molester, they picture some ugly, old man in a trench coat coaxing children to come to him in exchange for some candy. They don’t picture Uncle Joe or Aunt Lorraine, the neighbor next door, the friendly parishioner, another family member, or trusted co-worker. They don’t think of mom or dad or in the case of single parents their significant other. This misconception has been effectively dispelled through information obtained in thousands of child sexual abuse investigations over the years. Child molesters come from all walks of life and from all socioeconomic groups. They can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non-religious or from any race. Children can be molested by persons they don’t know, relatives, friends, or caregivers.

Both men and women molest children, although the majority of those identified, and prosecuted for a sex offense, are men. Adults who molest children can generally be divided into two groups, according to their behaviors. A small percentage may suffer from a lifelong exclusive attraction to children and have little or no emotional interest in adult partners. The majority is not exclusively attracted to children, have adult emotional relationships, and have not molested multiple child victims. The widespread misconception that child molestation consists solely of children being seized from the street and forcibly molested couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although these incidents do occur, the vast majority of child molesters are adults who seduce children through subtle intimidation and persuasion and are known to the child.

The child molester who is not known by the victim may use a variety of methods to gain access or gain the confidence of the victim. He may use force, fear, bribery, or tricks. He may pretend or appear to be friendly and trustworthy. Often he gains access to children in public places, such as playgrounds, parks or shopping malls. Through the experience of law enforcement investigators, treatment providers, and research, some common behavioral indicators have been identified and are described below.

Behavioral Indicators of Men and Women Who Have Molested Children

CAUTION: Some people who have molested or plan to molest a child exhibit no observable behavior pattern that would be a clue to their future actions.

Person who molest children:

  1. Are aware, in most cases, of their preference for children before they reach age 18. Most offenders are adult males, but some women also molest children.
  2. Are usually married. A small number never marry and maintain a lifelong sexual and emotional interest in children.
  3. May relate better to children than adults and may feel more comfortable with children and their interests.
  4. May have few close adult friends. 
  5. Usually prefer children in a specific age group.
  6. Usually prefer one gender over the other; however, some are bisexual in their preferences. 
  7. May seek employment or volunteer opportunities with programs involving children in the preferred victim age group for this type of offender. 
  8. Pursue children for sexual purposes and may feel emotionally attached to the extent that emotional needs are met by engaging in relationships with children. Example: An adult man spends time with neighbor children or relatives and talks at length about his feelings for them or his own feelings of loneliness or loss in order to get the child’s sympathy. 
  9. Often photographs or collects photographs of their victims, dressed, nude, or involved in sexual acts. 
  10. May collect child erotica and child-adult pornography which may be used in the following ways:
    • To lower the inhibitions of the victims.
    • To fantasize when no potential victim is available. 
    • To relive past sexual activities. 
    • To justify their inappropriate sexual activities. 
    • To blackmail victims to keep then from telling.
  11. May possess alcohol or narcotics and furnish them to their victims to lower inhibitions to gain fear. 
  12. Talk with children in ways that equalize their relationship. 
  13. May talk about children in the same manner as one would talk about an adult lover or partner. 
  14. May seek out organizations and publications that support his sexual beliefs and practices.
  15. May offer to baby-sit or take children on trips in order to manipulate situations to sleep with or near children or bathe or dress them. 
  16. May be seen at parks, playgrounds or places frequented by children or teenagers.

Interfamilial Child Abuse

The incestuous or interfamilial molester is usually an adult male (father, stepfather, grandfather or live-in boyfriend of the mother); however, mothers or other female caregivers also sexually abuse children. The molestation is usually secretive and is sometimes accomplished through misuse of power, mental duress, bribes, tricks or misuse of parental role under the guise of sex education and threats.

Common threats may include: That the child would be removed from the family if they do not succumb to the offenders wishes; that they would be blamed for hurting the family if the offender is arrested; that their siblings would be sexually abused if the victim does not consent. Often the offender will portray to act needy or emotionally distraught as a result of marital problems, thereby needing the attention of the victim.

The molestation usually occurs over an extended period of time, occasionally into the victim’s adulthood. Through intimidation, the child is made to feel responsible for the molestation and for keeping the acts secret. This secret is normally kept between the offender and the victim, or within the immediate family.

There are many situations where a family with children can be vulnerable, such as single parent families where the parent has a full time job and is attempting to fulfill the role of both parents as well as run the household or in situation where family conflicts leave a child feeling alienated or abandoned. Some male offenders seek out mothers who are single parents for the purpose of victimizing their children. In these cases, he may have a genuine attraction to the mother and the hidden agenda of pursuit of the children as victims.

Children from all types of families can be vulnerable to child molestation. Any child whose need for attention or affection are not being met can be particularly vulnerable. It is important to remember that because adults have power over children; any child can be at risk.

Talking to Your Children

Because children get their power through secrecy the single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child. They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you. If they feel they can talk with you about their true feelings and that they will not be “put down” for it, then they will be more likely to tell you when they are put in an uncomfortable situation by a child molester.

Also, children need to know that there are many adults who can help if they have a problem. The handout “Personal Safety for Children” and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children pamphlet “Child Protection”, give you excellent examples of basic safety rules for children. For a list of free child safety pamphlets, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, toll free 1-800-843-5678, or call your local sexual assault program, victim services agency. 

SOURCE: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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Page | by Dr. Radut