Education is key to preventing child sex abuse
Neosho (Mo.) Police Sgt. Peter Russell recently gave a talk that highlighted the usual behavioral patterns of sex offenders and what to look for.
Sex offenders have the following traits
- Most offenders commit multiple crimes against multiple types of victims with whom they have varying types of relationships.
- Sex offenders rarely commit one type of offense. Many offenders have no official criminal record or sex crime history of any kind.
- The majority of offenses (80 to 95 percent) are committed by someone the victim knows.
- Sexual deviancy often begins in adolescence.
- Sex offenders usually do not commit their crimes impulsively. They usually carefully plan their crimes.
- 60 percent of convicted sex offenders are on probation or parole.
Adult behavior that may signal sexual interest in children
- Refuses to let a child set any of his or her own limitations.
- Insists on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling or holding a child even when the child does not want this affection.
- Manages to get time along or insists on time along with a child without interruptions.
- Spends most of his/her spare time with children and has little interest in spending time with someone their own age.
- Buys children expensive gifts or gives them money for no apparent reason.
- Frequently walks in on children/teens in the bathroom.
- Allows children or teens to consistently get away with inappropriate behaviors.
- Encourages silence and secrets with children.
- Talks about sexual fantasies with children and is not clear about what’s OK with children.
- Looks at child pornography.
Safety tips for your family
- Give quality love, time and attention to your child so that he or she won’t look for it elsewhere.
- Know the people who are involved with your child who are in a position of trust, or even a relative or close friend.
- Be aware of an adult or older child who spends a large amount of time with your child, or seems to be focused on your child.
- Be aware if your child is avoiding a particular person that they used to be comfortable with.
- Be aware if your child is spending a lot of time with, or talking about, an adult or someone older who is not a parent or guardian.
- If you suspect that your child has been abused, ask him or her in a caring, nonthreatening way. Do not accuse.
- Let your child know that he or she does not have to keep secrets. Many times shame will keep a child silent.
Neosho Daily News