On average a child molester will commit the offense 200–400 times before he or she is caught, if ever. The sad reality is that a vast majority of the molesters do not get caught and therefore have no criminal record. Only one out of ten child molestation cases is reported to law enforcement agencies, according to the FBI.
Many of the studies and statistics on such crimes are assembled from imprisoned perpetrators, who provide authorities with an inside view of the lives of child sexual abusers. This information gathered so far shows that it’s only the tip of the iceberg that is being revealed and reported to the law enforcement authorities.
Both men and women can be child molesters but the vast majority of them are males. And, most of these sexual abusers were themselves molested in their childhood. The child abusers mostly begin their pattern of behavior while they are still teens. If apprehended at a young age, there are fair chances that intense rehabilitation will work.
They are not “monsters” in appearance; rather, most of the molesters usually are very charming and friendly. After securing widespread trust over time, some of them eventually even supervise or head various kinds of nonprofit organizations dealing with youth. This gives them easy access to children and free rein.
Child sexual abusers tend to rationalize their sexual preferences and validate their behavior. A large number of them believe that they are doing nothing wrong and that being intimate with a child would actually help them have a “healthy” life.
Pedophiles often seduce their prey with affection and gifts. Over time, many of them become highly skillful in deceit and manipulation.
Victim children and preteens, on the other hand, can actually grow attached to the molester over time and become jealous when their attention goes to other younger children. This happens after extended periods of molestation and when the victims reach a certain age. By that time, their entire lives have been colored by the abuse.
Children learn early on that they are dependent on adults for the fulfillment of their physical and emotional needs as well as their survival. Children are taught to obey and respect adults, but the exceptions to this also need to be clearly taught.
Teens and adult child abusers exploit their physical strength and status to influence and control a victim child’s behavior and entice them into sexual activity. Shrewd and experienced molester lowers a child’s inhibitions by seducing them gradually, exploiting their natural curiosity about sex and the lack of safety education that all children must have.
Children facing isolation and lack of attention at home are more prone to molestation. But even those children who are getting ample attention and affection from their family are not totally safe as they would appreciate attention and affection coming from others as well.
It is therefore important to understand that all children, even those from happy homes, are at risk. And they would fall prey to an abuser’s seduction techniques if they do not have the training to deal with them.
Child molesters however particularly look for shy, naive and disable children because they are usually an easy target. Children with disabilities often cannot tell what has been done to them. And, kids who are experiencing loneliness, emotional neglect or strong feelings of alienation are vulnerable for they want attention and affection more than anything else. But even many of such children can be saved if they are given proper education about child molesters and their tactics.
Another group of children which is of particular interest to pedophiles is the growing number of children who are being raised by single-parents. Many working parents find little time for their children and they are highly desperate for such babysitters as are readily available and offer extra free attention to their kids.
Child molesters master manipulative skills and tactics and use them on troubled children. They begin by building up the child’s self-esteem and exploit their need to be heard, understood and valued. Showering their potential victims with attention, pedophiles may also offer treats, special privileges, or trips to a child’s desirable places. After a child has accepted many of these gifts, offers, and treats, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to assert themselves and refuse the offender’s advances, which gradually tend to get more confusing.
After choosing a prospective victim, a molester then works hard and very patiently develops relationships with the child. Since the grooming process can sometimes take years, it is common for pedophiles to cultivate many potential victims at a time.
Much information about how pedophiles operate has come through the interviews of incarcerated perpetrators. The offenders invariably explain how they select their potential victims by assessing their vulnerabilities as well as the overall circumstantial opportunity to offend. The naiveté and gullibility of the kids or teens are major factors considered by the offenders when choosing their victims.
It is very hard to stand up to a pedophile if a child has not been prepared to do so. Molesters often gradually test the victims to see their reactions. They would get physically too close with them for comfort, make suggestive comments, or roughhouse with them. They deliberately issue confusing statements like, “Sometimes friends and family help each other and touch each other.”
Predators usually begin to touch private parts of a child’s body by brushing up against them on purpose but would make it appear accidental or playful. If confronted, they would say something like “I was kidding”, or “it was just an accident.”
When the child does not stop the pedophile’s incremental advances out of shyness, fear or curiosity, the offender views it as a signal to advance further. If a predator is confronted mildly and he senses there is still potential to molest, he may put more pressure on the child by saying something like “By saying no, you’re hurting my feelings.”
Children when molested are left guilt-ridden. Even though what happened to the victim child is not their fault, they still feel like it is. They are also left deeply confused, as they may often feel like they cooperated in the act because they wanted not only to enjoy the attention of the offender but also the physical sensations brought by the sexual contact.
This is one key reason why it is hard for children to reveal that they were preyed upon. In fact, they may not even have a reasonable understanding of what they experienced until after many years. The molested children are often left feeling intensely ashamed and “dirty”, blaming themselves for the sexual acts that they were tricked, lured or threatened into enduring.
After a child becomes victim of a particular molester, the victimization can continue for years and take on a ritualistic and repetitive nature. When the sexual abuse continues over extended periods of time, the victim child may often cope with it by separating the molester into two different people when dealing with them – “uncle & predator,” “older brother & rapist” or “youth group leader & monster,” for example, – while the victim watches the offender parade around, respected, above reproach and untouched.
If molesters are ever caught by adults who are unfamiliar with how such predators operate, the offender typically either shift the blame on the child by terming them seducer, or they would say that it happened for the first time as they have never did anything like that before. They might also provide some believable excuse for why molestation happened “just that one time”. Upon being caught, it is quite characteristic of the offenders to express deep remorse and regret, and insist in a convincing way they feel terrible about it. And, they would promise not to do it ever again.
As most people sincerely want to make this world a better place, they often give others the benefit of doubt. We as human beings strive to not speak badly about others and we believe that offenders can repent for their wrong doing. Pedophiles know this well, and they take full advantage of it. It is therefore important for us to learn and teach others about the facts about child molestation.
Pointers for Parents:
- Teach your kids about personal safety from age three and up, each year adding on some more age-appropriate details. Role-playing relevant scenarios is a very effective and proactive way to teach children.
- Be wary with a child if s/he appears to be unusually uncomfortable or shows negativity around a particular male adult or teen—even if the person in question is a relative, neighbor, close family friend, or respected member of the community. Openly communicate with your child through calm and relevant questions.
- Be cautious if anybody—including teachers, counselors, coaches, youth group leaders, medical professional or babysitters, or anyone else—ever tries to meet your child privately for any reason, or insists to go off with the kid to any place where they could be alone.
- If a child ever reveals that s/he has been molested, neither blame the child for anything nor reprimand them for not telling you sooner. It is important to understand that victims require support. Also, in case of disclosure of molestation by a child, don’t rely on anyone else rather take action yourself. Call 911.
- Remember that offenders can look you in the eye and lie about the offence easily. They are masters of deception, so, leave investigations for the police and forensic experts.
Proving Molestation And Resulting Damages
For proving a case of molestation, factors like showing the act was nonconsensual, establishing relationship between the victim and the accused, and establishing credibility of the complainant are very critical. Moreover, witness accounts and testimonies as well as physical evidence of molestation or resistance are important for proving the severity of the sexual abuse and establishing damages.
We, at the Nakase Law Firm, work by involving expert witnesses, including reputable psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical professionals who have ample experience of examining victims and estimating damages and expense of future treatment.
We maintain confidentiality
Our San Diego personal injury lawyer, Brad Nakase, will carefully analyze your case and collaborate with experts if necessary. Even if there were no witnesses to the crime, we may still be able to prove your case in several ways. If we take on your sexual abuse case, we will pursue damages for:
- Medical treatment (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages (for punishing the perpetrator)
What to Do If You Catch A Molester?
Sexual abuse is a serious crime. If you believe someone has molested your child or any other child, do not try to handle it yourself! When caught, a predator will always say that it was their “first time” and he will also promise never to do it again. But he will be lying and he is good at it. Call the police and report abuse! The best thing one could for one’s own child and for the other children (past or potential victims of the predator) is to report the crime to the authorities. If a molester has preyed on your child, he will do it to others too unless he’s stopped.