Learn How to Identify a Child Abuser

September 12, 2017
Do you know the signs of child abuse? Learn how to identify them and prevent your child from further harm.

Being able to identify a child abuser is a fundamental skill to have in today’s world. However, recognizing them can be hard, since they are people who win the trust f the children they abuse. They don’t have any special physical characteristics, they can be of any race, religion, or gender. Here are tips to help you learn to identify a child abuser.

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Profile of a possible child abuser

1. They become a family friend

These people try to build a bond with the family of the child they abuse. The abuser manipulates the family to become well-liked by them. Additionally, those who abuse children are often very sociable, take care of the children, take them to the park, shopping etc.

Furthermore, when trying to identify a child abuser, remember that this type of person tends to try to become a close friend of the child and win their trust.

2. The vast majority of abusers are not strangers to the children

According to the American Psychological Association, 30% of sexually abused children were victims of a relative. Moreover, 60% were victims of an adult they knew, and 10% were abused by a stranger.

3. Characteristics of child abusers

Generally, they have been abused in the past, physically or sexually. In addition, some may have psychological or personality disorders.

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4. They have jobs that put them around children

Woman helping child in a class how to identify a child abuser

These people spend hours with them as their coaches, babysitters, teachers. Likewise, they claim that they love kids and that they are their life.

5. They are cunning and clever

They use tricks, activities, games to build trust. These people know how to keep secrets to use as a source of power.

Moreover, their games often have a sexual component involving unwanted affection, kisses, touching, etc. Unfortunately, this exposes young minds to pornographic material, extortion, and bribery. However, child molesters tend to make their actions appear loving, in order to confuse and isolate the child.

Characteristics to Help Identify a Child Molester

Child abusers keep the child’s toys, books, items of clothing

They may not focus on just one child, but instead, abuse several children at once.

Child abusers don’t feel guilty about what they’re doing

Redhead young boy upset identify a child abuser

We can define a sociopath as not feeling empathy for others or having regret for their actions.

The victim is considered an object

Some say it’s a way to prevent the suffering that they themselves went through as a child.

Generally, abusers were abused or mistreated as children

Abnormal sexual experiences and violence are where these personality disorders begin.

Tips for Preventing Child Abuse

1. Don’t leave your child alone

Two girls walking together on sidewalk identify a child abuser

In the street, at the park, at the field, the pool, at school, or the gym. Look out for the teachers. Know the time the children go in and come out, and go with them.

2. Speak to them about the danger

Explain the limits they should keep, that nobody, not even a family member, should touch their private parts. Additionally, teach them that no adult should ask them to do something without telling their parents and if this happens, it’s wrong.

3. Look out for your child’s mood changes

Young boy facing wall

Look for behavior like quieter than usual, depressed, closed off, or sad. That could be a possible indicator of ongoing child abuse.

4. Control the social networks they use

Check that they don’t post photos that attract abusers. Make sure they don’t post personal information about themselves or the family, like their address, school, and places they go to frequently.

5. Parents should have their passwords

Mother comforting young boy identify a child abuser

This is important in order to monitor the private messages and friend requests the child gets. Sexual abusers can be women as well as men, so be alert.

6. Make sure your child feels supported

Children who don’t have support are easy prey for abusers. Talk to your children, build a relationship of friendship and trust, make them feel open to telling you about their problems and how they’re feeling.

Moreover, It’s very important to seek help if you suspect that there is a dangerous situation with a specific person. There are institutions and organizations that support families that are facing child abuse.

Most importantly, you must get help, end the cycle of violence, break the silence, and report them because abusers often have multiple victims. Finally, use these tips to identify a child abuser and save children from harmful situations.

 

  • Gray, J. D., Cutler, C. A., Dean, J. G., & Kempe, C. H. (1977). Prediction and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Child Abuse & Neglect1(1), 45-58.
  • Black, C. A., & DeBlassie, R. R. (1993). Sexual abuse in male children and adolescents: Indicators, effects, and treatments. Adolescence28(109), 123-134.