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Pedophiles Among Us: Who They Are & How to Spot Them

Posted by on May. 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM
  • 33 Replies

Pedophiles Among Us: Who They Are & How to Spot Them

by Ericka Sóuter

pedophileChildren think of bad guys as these sinister, scary-looking villains that do battle against Spider-Man or kidnap princesses. We adults, of course, know better. In light of stories like Jerry Sandusky -- a once nationally respected college football coach who had been sexually abusing boys for decades -- we know monsters can take on many forms. Still, it's not always easy to spot who these predators truly are, so The Stir wants to help parents identify possible pedophiles.

For this potentially child-saving guide, we turned to renowned psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman, who has provided expert testimony in many high-profile cases, and Dr. Julie Cederbaum, an associate professor at the University of Southern California's School of Social Work specializing in children, families, and sexual health.

Don't expect to see obvious signs, like child pornography or sexual behavior toward children in public. In fact, they are likely charming, loving, seemingly good people. You see, predators are well practiced at hiding their proclivities. It's more important to be attuned to the behavioral cues below:

  • Predators are typically unmarried loners who enjoy the company of children more than adults.
  • Predators have a radar that directs them to children who are least likely to create a fuss or least likely to tell. These victims will usually have low self-esteem and are desperate for adult attention because they don't get enough from their parents.
  • One frightening fact every parent needs to remember: "Approximately 80 to 90 percent of children know their offender and almost 50 percent of offenders are family members," says Dr. Cederbaum.
  • Many pedophiles groom their victims by becoming a part of the child's life and gaining their trust and that of the family. Then they may initiate more touching or games of a sexual nature.
  • Some look to marry women with children so that they have "ready-made prey," warns Dr. Lieberman.
  • Concerned dating moms should ask themselves: Is that new boyfriend too touch-feely or does he make overtly sexual comments around my kids? Are they afraid to be alone with him?
  • There are also impulsive predators who strike whenever the opportunity presents itself. "For example, a mom's new boyfriend who offers to babysit or a neighbor driving a child home from school," explains Dr. Lieberman.
  • A predator may encourage your child to keep secrets from you.
  • When you mention plans to visit this friend or relative, your child gets upset but won't tell you why.
  • Child molesters are most often men, but not exclusively. Women are more likely to go after a "relationship" with teen boys, according to Dr. Lieberman.
  • The most critical question to ask yourself: How well do I really know this person? "Knowing where your child is and who they are being supervised by is important," cautions Dr. Cederbaum. "Having relationships with teachers, after school leaders, coaches, parents of friends, and others in your community helps you to better engage your child in dialogue about their experiences and share when you are less comfortable with whom they are engaging."

If a little voice inside your head is saying something is not right, don't ignore it. The most helpful tool a parent has is their intuition. Though it's important to keep in mind that there is no one size fits all description for a sexual abuser. It may be a combination of various characteristics or perhaps just one or two. If you suspect something, don't confront this person yourself. Report your suspicions to the police or to Child Protective Services. They will know how to look for signs of guilt and lessen the risk of the predator becoming violent.

Have you ever suspected someone of having an inappropriate relationship with a child?

by on May. 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Woodbabe
by Woodie on May. 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Great information, thanks!

furbabymum
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:16 AM
1 mom liked this

 My BIL is a pedo. He got caught in one of those "To Catch a Predator" type stings. He lives in his parents basement and is 35 years old. Doesn't work. IMO a waste of air. He tried to pick me up once while my DH was deployed. Now he pays special attention to my kids. I'm not sure if it's him trying to get to me through them or if he's just trying to get them. What I do know is that my in-laws are not allowed to babysit my children because they do not take his threat seriously. My DH and I have spent many counseling sessions coming to a consensus about what will be allowed from his brother. Honestly, he creeps me the hell out and I will make sure my children know young that if he ever scares them I will beat him into a pulp. Strict boundaries and incredible wariness is how I have to broach family gatherings. Then I have to try to restrain myself from pummeling him when he talks to my kids. Trying not to over react here. /shoo

Mommabearbergh
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Women don't always go after teen boys sometimes they go after girls and it happens more often then people realize.Also not all predators are loaners sometimes they are the charismatic and very nice because the one thing you hear about predators was that really I don't understand how they could do that they are so nice. They are like snakes charming and nice and doing horrible things. 

I haven't suspected anyone of having a inappropriate relationship with a child then again I stay to myself and I don't have the patience for others people children unless they are family.

furbabymum
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:21 AM

 Another thing I've dealt with recently was this:

My kids are in daycare. We go every day at lunch to be with them. So since we are there so much I'm pretty aware of things going on there. There was this dog that would show up often wanting attention and food. The daycare peeps would put it in the fenced area and call animal control to come get it. Well one lunch we were there and a guy came to retrieve the dog. Then he'd come there to get the dog because that's where the dog went. THEN came the notice with his picture that he was a sex offender. So me being me I called the appropriate officials to let them know this guy was coming to a daycare for a dog. He had no dog registered to him. I was reassured to find out thisguy wasn't a child predator. Turns out he was more into adult men. Still they gave him notice that he was to avoid the daycare and we've not seen him or the dog since.

Vigilance! Also, I tend to think not reacting would be worse than over reacting.

Perhaps I'm a bit more freaked out having to go through all the legal processes at work and having been molested by my grandfather when I was younger. I cannot ignore any sign that my kids may be in danger and my kids will be equipped as young as I can equip them to handle things. I've already started the process by teaching them appropriate body part names. IF, God forbid, something happens to them they will be able to provide information to nail their ass to the wall. 

furbabymum
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:22 AM

 http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/04/29/news/01top_04-29-14.txt#.U2OqCi_nZZQ

This is a local case. Married teacher who begins a sexual relationship with her student who was 12 at the youngest encounter.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Women don't always go after teen boys sometimes they go after girls and it happens more often then people realize.Also not all predators are loaners sometimes they are the charismatic and very nice because the one thing you hear about predators was that really I don't understand how they could do that they are so nice. They are like snakes charming and nice and doing horrible things. 

I haven't suspected anyone of having a inappropriate relationship with a child then again I stay to myself and I don't have the patience for others people children unless they are family.

 

Mommabearbergh
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:25 AM
1 mom liked this

and your quoting me why. I am aware they go after boys but they also go after girls. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/04/29/news/01top_04-29-14.txt#.U2OqCi_nZZQ

This is a local case. Married teacher who begins a sexual relationship with her student who was 12 at the youngest encounter.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Women don't always go after teen boys sometimes they go after girls and it happens more often then people realize.Also not all predators are loaners sometimes they are the charismatic and very nice because the one thing you hear about predators was that really I don't understand how they could do that they are so nice. They are like snakes charming and nice and doing horrible things. 

I haven't suspected anyone of having a inappropriate relationship with a child then again I stay to myself and I don't have the patience for others people children unless they are family.

 


furbabymum
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:26 AM

 I thought it would support your argument. Sheesh. What with her being charasmatic and not a loner.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

and your quoting me why. I am aware they go after boys but they also go after girls. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/04/29/news/01top_04-29-14.txt#.U2OqCi_nZZQ

This is a local case. Married teacher who begins a sexual relationship with her student who was 12 at the youngest encounter.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Women don't always go after teen boys sometimes they go after girls and it happens more often then people realize.Also not all predators are loaners sometimes they are the charismatic and very nice because the one thing you hear about predators was that really I don't understand how they could do that they are so nice. They are like snakes charming and nice and doing horrible things. 

I haven't suspected anyone of having a inappropriate relationship with a child then again I stay to myself and I don't have the patience for others people children unless they are family.

 

 

Mommabearbergh
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:28 AM

It would have helped if you added more thats all it was sort of kind of a random article not really sure how to take that from my point of view

Quoting furbabymum:

 I thought it would support your argument. Sheesh. What with her being charasmatic and not a loner.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

and your quoting me why. I am aware they go after boys but they also go after girls. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/04/29/news/01top_04-29-14.txt#.U2OqCi_nZZQ

This is a local case. Married teacher who begins a sexual relationship with her student who was 12 at the youngest encounter.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Women don't always go after teen boys sometimes they go after girls and it happens more often then people realize.Also not all predators are loaners sometimes they are the charismatic and very nice because the one thing you hear about predators was that really I don't understand how they could do that they are so nice. They are like snakes charming and nice and doing horrible things. 

I haven't suspected anyone of having a inappropriate relationship with a child then again I stay to myself and I don't have the patience for others people children unless they are family.

 

 


furbabymum
by on May. 2, 2014 at 10:30 AM

 Well what do you want me to say. I put in that she was a married teacher. AKA not a loner and a woman. Sorry if you were offended or thought I was attacking you.............. 

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

It would have helped if you added more thats all it was sort of kind of a random article not really sure how to take that from my point of view

Quoting furbabymum:

 I thought it would support your argument. Sheesh. What with her being charasmatic and not a loner.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

and your quoting me why. I am aware they go after boys but they also go after girls. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/04/29/news/01top_04-29-14.txt#.U2OqCi_nZZQ

This is a local case. Married teacher who begins a sexual relationship with her student who was 12 at the youngest encounter.

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Women don't always go after teen boys sometimes they go after girls and it happens more often then people realize.Also not all predators are loaners sometimes they are the charismatic and very nice because the one thing you hear about predators was that really I don't understand how they could do that they are so nice. They are like snakes charming and nice and doing horrible things. 

I haven't suspected anyone of having a inappropriate relationship with a child then again I stay to myself and I don't have the patience for others people children unless they are family.

 

 

 

Euphoric
by Bazinga! on May. 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Thanks for sharing.

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