This is not one of those things we like to talk about, but someone has to give tips and precautions towards protecting your child from pedophiles.
Applicable to every parent, you want to make sure your child is kept away from harm child is kept away from harm. Even the cruellest mother will sacrifice anything within her reach to make sure her kids are not exposed to dangers. Some go as far as installing cameras in the house, interview teachers and keepers that are meant to spend time with their children. All these are in view of ensuring our kids are safe at all time.
Unfortunately, these might not be enough to discourage preys who are determined to go the extra mile to penetrate into your spies. Children are often molested even with the every day extra strict protections from their parents.
If you’re like some parents, who think you don’t have to do anything about protecting your child from pedophiles until they’re older. It might interest you to know that children of all ages are exposed to the risk.
Finkelhor is of the fact that, “Only less than 10 percent of sexual abuse of children under age 12 is done by strangers.” Most sexual abusers are known, trusted and liked by the children they victimize. According to Kenneth Lanning; a retired FBI agent turned private consultant specializing in crimes against children, “About 50 percent of child abuse is done by people who take care of a child, such as family members or babysitters, while the other 40 percent is done by acquaintances such as priests, coaches, counselors or family friends.”
So, if you think the most secure way of protecting children from pedophile is to encourage them from staying away from strangers, then you are not totally right.
FACT: Nowadays, pedophiles are not the bad looking guys like you might think. A pedophile is often the most popular Reverend father, closest uncle, most cherished teacher, your trusted friend and your everyday counsellor. Usually, they are cool, good-looking, cute, soft-spoken and friendly with children.
How Do Pedophiles Lure Little Children?
Usually, a sexual abuser will often bring his preys closer with quite a number of strategies like building trust with the child. A pedophile will treat his target specially by offering them a lot of time, attention, free gifts, as well as numerous privileges.
For instance, if a sexual offender is a close relative or a babysitter, he will allow his targeted child some special advantages over other children. He separates a child away from the rest and ensured she is able to keep secrets by sharing his personal life experience with her, and then make her promise never to tell anyone. When researchers pressed further, they realized that these offenders specifically look for minors who are able to keep secrets.
This continues to baffle a child, even when she knows it is wrong for a molester to touch a part of her body; especially if it’s from an uncle or a close relation. When someone who’s known and trusted begins to behave wrongly but kept saying, “it’s okay, I’m just showing you what boys will want to do to you when you’re older”. These perpetrators are smart individuals too. They took the time to research and figure out what a child likes and another thing she’s scared of. The first is to penetrate and make friendship bond stronger, while the latter is designed for threat.
For example, when the evil is committed, they result to threatening their victims with things like, “if you tell anyone about it, I will call the cops to arrest you too” – “I will hurt your mom if she ever knows about this”. These two instances depict a kid who loves her mom but scared of the cops.
How do I protect my child from Pedophile?
Obviously, you cannot spend your whole day walking behind your child for safe landings, but you can teach them to be self-protective when you are not around to give extra support. You can teach them how not to become victims of similar news we hear on TV every day, as well as those we read in newspapers every now and then.
One thing I believe you should be baffled with is why a predator singled out only that kid who was molested out of 10 others of the same age, race and gender?
Encourage your child never to keep ANY secret
Make it a habit, even if you have to lie about it, that you don’t keep secrets in the house. Tell your child to always tell you whenever an adult or other child asks her to keep a secret. Discus intimately with your child – This would encourage her to want to tell you about anything too. This step is a paramount edge from your part over a predator. When a pedophile realizes that a child won’t keep a secret, abuse will never occur. It is also important to help your child identify the differences between secrets and surprises, as smart pedophiles could as well hide under the guise of ‘surprising their victims’.
Let your child feel heard
Give your child the impression that she can always report to you whatever she might be going through. Every child should feel at ease and comfortable discussing any issue with their parent. When a child feels you will always brush her reports as nonsense or disturbance, then they start keeping things away from you. Find time to relax, digest and ponder on whatever report your child brings to the table before reacting to them. Even the unimportant reports (according to you) should be dully addressed. Let your child know you are interested in listening to her.
Keep your child protected
It is a normal thing that every parent wants to keep their wards protected, but it is more important that your child knows this fact. You want to make sure your child knows you got her back come what may. They want to know that you are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their safety to further boost their confidence. Tell them often how you are ready to destroy whoever hurt them.
Children like to have someone they can confide in, in time of revenge. It gives them pleasure, and they often want to brag about this in the midst of their friends. Periodically remind your child that there NOTHING to fear as long as you are there for them. Fear majorly is the prime reason why a child would go silent after being molested or bullied. Check our article on how to help your child build confidence.
Show them love
Here is a parenting blog where we incur pleasure in preaching showing love to your child as one of the basic ingredients to raising a compassionate child. Give your child the best care and make them feel loved at all time. If your child can not get an adequate affection from you, be rest assured that someone else will be available to fill that void – which could be a notorious pedophile!
Let it be known that most adults who grew up into an unhealthy relationship today are kids from years back who never get the needed affections from their parents. If you love your child truly, there should be no stopping you to show it.
Talk about their body
I have a little confession. As often as I preach about the importance of referring to private parts in their anatomically correct name around the children, I still couldn’t share this with my kids. Help your child not to feel embarrassed with their body at any point in time. Let your girl child know which part of their body is prohibited by others to be touched.
If this ever happens, tell your child to immediately inform you. It is far better if you are comfortable telling your child the original names of their private parts. Take any report of anyone who touches these areas personal and to any length to assure your child you can always fight for her in case of a repeated occurrence.
Emphasize more about keeping their private parts
Except when Mom, Dad or a babysitter wants to help you with bathe, never allow anyone else to see or touch your private part. Sometimes, Doctors too might need to check if that part of your body is okay. Whenever your child talks about issues close to that part of their body, grab that chance to tell her how those parts should be kept private. Tell her. “You are not allowed to touch other people’s private parts and you should never grant anyone access to yours too.”
Another smart strategy is telling your child directly that someone might try to touch her private parts. You can say something like, “Some people’s problem is to look and touch other people’s private parts and tell you not to tell anyone. You should always tell me if anyone does that to you”. This encourages her to report the smallest sign of predators who may try touching her seductively.
It’s okay to say ‘No’ to someone older
Let your child knows it is okay to refuse a touch from someone older. Usually, most children have been taught to respect adults and do all they ask them to do. For instance, you often tell your child to obey her teachers, coaches, pastors etc. Similarly, these pedophiles are also on the lookout for kids who are well behaved and obedient.
“You can say NO to the pastor, teacher and anyone in a position of authority if they ask you to do things you are not comfortable with”, says Dr. Rice.
Kissing Aunties and sitting on Uncle’s lap is not necessary
Never allow the society to help you make terrible decisions. Let your child decide whether or not they want to give auntie a kiss or hug another uncle. Their decision is not rude if your child refused to be kissed – and don’t ever punish them for that. Until your child is old enough to cater for herself, you are still her advocate right now. The message is unclear when you have to force your child to use their body in a way they don’t want to.
Your child’s body is a priority and should be kept safe. If your 2-year-old daughter refuses to be carried by your husband’s best friend, so be it. I cannot emphasize this enough that you should never force your child to perform any form of physical acts they don’t feel comfortable with. If you offer to hug or kiss your child at any point in time, and she refuses – either because she’s not in a good mood, or probably busy playing — respect her feelings. Seize the opportunity to let her know she’s got every right to resist other people from touching or kissing her if she doesn’t want to.
Sometimes, though unknowingly, parents can set their child up for abuse by insisting they kiss or hug uncles and aunties even when the children don’t want to.
Keep your child safe on the internet
I recently asked a question about the appropriate age a child should use a smartphone. A large percentage of kids with cellphones are usually on the internet as well. This is why you want to keep tab of their activities on each platform on the internet and guarantee their safety. The best way to protect your child is to make them understand the dangers they might be exposed to. Let your teenager knows that people may lie about their true identity in order to meet kids over the internet.
There are bad people everywhere. You want to caution your child not to disclose their real name, phone numbers and address for strangers on the internet.
Other smart ways to protecting your child from pedophiles
Be vigilant and smart when your child talks to you. Some children would choose to go zigzag about being sexually abused. You have to be smart to read between the lines when your child suddenly refuses certain things they love doing. For example, when you child says things like, “I don’t want to attend extra lessons anymore – I don’t want to visit uncle this weekend – I don’t want to see Daddy’s friend anymore”. Start digging to know why the sudden change.
You should also swing into action when your child begins to use sexual inappropriate terms in the house too.
God forbid this happens, but if your family ever experiences this awful incident, make sure you put an end to it – but how?
Don’t feel ashamed to broadcast the news. Find the bastard and troll him everywhere. The social media is gradually becoming a platform where everyone can be heard within a twinkle of an eye. Call him/her out. Call the police. Call Morayo and the rest of the Breakfast Show on TVC. Tell Daily Mail, Laila, Yabaleft, and Busybody about it, and ensure they all pushed it online to share more awareness.
They’re all far too kind and know their job. One thing you should be ashamed of – is if you do nothing about it and it happens to another child later on. We can jointly put an end to this for the sake of the next victim, so it never happens. You can also spare someone else the pain and heartbreak by USING THE SHARE BUTTONS BELOW. We all got a role to play here!
Image: Daily Mail