Wake up! They aren’t afraid of you!

I had an exchange with someone recently and they said their children are not at risk for being sexually abused because everyone knows they will kill anyone who harms their child. I wasn’t surprised by the statement. In fact, I hear it all the time from people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. I was however, disappointed that so many people still believe predators operate using logic, reasoning, or normal human emotions like fear.

It is this very myth that creates opportunity for predators to molest undetected for years. Parents and caregivers must realize that predators are not ruled by fear; they are ruled by desire. It is desire and being devoid of a conscience and basic human decency that overrides any fear of what a parent will do to them if they are caught. In fact, the predator believes they are far more superior in their thought process than you are, so they already have an explanation for their actions formulated in their mind by the off-chance that they are discovered.

By assigning basic human traits to these monsters,  you allow them to move in and out of your midst with ease. They smile, carry on appropriate conversation, and behave like a “normal” adult. All the while, they are sexually abusing children at every opportunity and the children are wondering why no one is seeing what is going on and coming to their rescue.

You must stop making assumptions about who people are; what they are capable of, and how you perceive your relationship with them impacts their behaviors. Because the truth of the matter is, they aren’t afraid of you and they are relying on your ignorance to get closer to you and subsequently, your child. It’s as though they are laughing at you on the inside every time you proclaim how much hell you will unleash on anyone who dares to harm your child because they know just how uninformed you are about what is happening to your child right under your nose.

Until you are willing to consider everyone a suspect and treat them as such by monitoring how they interact with not only your child, but all children as well as limiting their access to your child, you will provide means and opportunity. This goes for family, friends, clergy, coaches, and professionals alike.

Dont be afraid to set clear boundaries. If you don’t want someone tickling your child, hugging your child, or giving random gifts to your child, that is ok and doesn’t need any further explanation than “please don’t do that”. If you don’t allow your child to sleep over at other people’s homes or attend events without you, so be it. Also, don’t be afraid to let people know that you are watching them and everyone else for that matter if they question any of the boundaries you set for your child.

You must make it difficult for the predator to have unfettered access to your child since fear isn’t a factor in their choice of child. Frustrating their efforts and interrupting their patterns will cause them to abandon their mission because they generally  prefer easy prey. Remember, the desire to molest a child rules them and they are bent on feeding that desire so they don’t want extend unnecessary time and energy on the chase.

You should also check in with your child, regardless of age. Ask them how they feel about specific people and really take note of their response. If anything seems off, be willing to remove that person from your child’s life quickly and without explanation if necessary. In addition, you need to affirm your child by acknowledging their feelings and letting them know that they don’t have to be around that person if they don’t want to. This will go a long way in helping them understand that they can always tell you if someone is hurting them or doing something to them that they don’t like.

At the end of the day, every child is vulnerable to sexual abuse because child molesters aren’t afraid of parents or the parents’ “consequences”. Learning how predators operate and considering everyone a suspect until they prove otherwise are the only ways to genuinely keep your child safe and protected from predatory behavior.

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