Who Does The Sexual Abuser Look And Act LIke?

The sexual abuser/pedophile/molestor/predator often looks and acts just like everybody else.  We often have this vision of the creepy man in a trenchcoat who lurks around unassumably, or the perverted looking guy who drives the ice cream truck.  However, while some abusers may in fact look like those characters, most often, the abuser is a “normal looking” member of society.  They may even be well respected members of their community.  Typically, they are likeable individuals who work everyday and would be classified as an all-around “nice guy” by the neighbors when the cameras are rolling.

The ploy of the sexual predator is…. gaining trust!! No parent with their wits about them would ever leave their children in the presence of, let alone the care of, some smarmy looking individual who doesnt “appear” to have their child’s best interest at heart.  This is why we, as parents, are often fooled by teachers, coaches, clergy, doctors, uncles, grandfathers, and dads.  These people spend hours upon hours gaining our trust to the extent that parents eventually push their children into the beckoning arms of these predators.  Parents take behavioral cues at face value and assume that by virture of one’s appearance, occupation, or familial status, they are trustworthy and wouldn’t harm our children.  This is the farthest from the truth!

Stop looking at people and assigning labels to them as if these labels truly define who they are!  As Natalie Lamb, President & Founder of It’s Your Choice, states, “Nice is a choice, not a character trait.” Many people choose to be nice because of ulterior motives or a hidden agenda.  Predators are some of the nicest, most alturistic, and charitable people you might come across.  Think about it….of all the stories in the news of late, how many of the predators were actually reported as mean-spirited individuals with hateful and ugly mannerisms?  Case and point….Jerry Sandusky was such a “nice guy” that he would pick up underprivileged boys and let them spend the night, take them to the Penn State campus and introduce them to the team, and he served as a father figure/role model.   Is that the behavior of a pedophile……ABSOLUTELY!  But my most people’s account, they would have never suspected him of being a danger to ALL the kids around him, even his own.

Several years ago before my daughter disclosed her own sexual abuse, I was at a sporting event for young people.  The team I had gone to see lost the game.  Immediately after the game, the coach took one of the player into a room alone and closed the door.  I was disturbed by this and began to ask those around me why the coach went in the room alone with the player.  Several of the other parents said the player was the coach’s child and while the whole scene still didn’t sit quite well with me, I let it go.  Over the years, I often think back on that incident, especially after my daughter disclosed, and wondered if there was really more to that story than what met the eye.  After all, to everyone else the coach was a nice well respected man who loved the kids….but what if he wasn’t?  My point being, if you have alarm bells going off in your head, don’t be so quick to dismiss your gut.

We, as parents, just have to wake up and realize that this evil exists in plain sight, and predators have made it their life’s work to weasel their way into our lives by design and for the purpose of harming our kids…..

Category: Uncategorized | 1 comment

  • LaTanya Jones says:

    Thank you for sharing this deeply personal information. I know it will help many. This point is of particular interest to me because I clearly recall certain people who acted “strange” when I was a child and I was told to keep away from them. The one who was abusing me was right in my house, under the same roof. It was my stepfather. Most people who knew him casualy or professionally never would have thought he would be capable of such a crime. He often told me that if I told no one would believe me and I would be taken from my mother whom I loved dearly and placed in foster care. I belived his lies and suffered in silence. He had the most important thing predators have and that is trust of those around him. I can’t agree more that it is not a particular look etc. if it where that simple, the problem would be avoidable. These are “everyday” people. Professional, clergy, “family” people etc who are doing these crimes.