You may never suspect a member of the community or a family friend of harboring a sexual desire for children, but those who do often learn to not only hide it but also may learn ways to groom children, which earns their trust and may leave them vulnerable to assault.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network notes that in the United States, a child suffers from sexual assault every nine minutes, and grooming may make it easier for a predator to carry out their desires. However, learning to spot the signs of this act may help you protect your kids.
1. The shared secret
Once a predator gains your child’s trust, they may begin grooming by offering them items meant for adults, such as alcohol and erotic magazines or showing them adult websites. Once they share the activity, they may tell your child that what occurred is now a secret and that your child might get punished if he or she reveals it to you. You might prevent this by letting your child know that no adult should ever ask him or her to keep a secret.
2. Isolation tactics
Adults who groom children may try to isolate your child from your family or his or her friends in order to spend more time employing their tactics and gaining your child’s confidence. You may want to limit the time your child spends alone with one adult.
3. Touch tactics
A predatory adult may introduce touching to your child in the form of tickling or other games that include touch. Teaching your child early about inappropriate touching can let him or her know when an adult may cross the line.
Adults may also try to contact and groom children via the internet. Monitoring your child’s phone and social media accounts can prevent groomers from gaining access.