More often than not, sexual offenses have little or nothing to do with sex. Rather, they have to do with power and control. It is not always strangers who participate in heinous sexual offenses, as it has been increasingly found that even people you might be familiar with and trust could very well be party to such crimes. There is a thin line between sexual offenses and sex addiction. Sex addiction is a progressive and compulsive urge to engage in sexual activities, whereas sex offense is a non-consensual sexual activity. However, some sex offenses are a result of an unchecked addiction to sex, although the percentage of this is said to be low.
Not all sex addicts are sexual offenders. If you have had a history of sex addiction (or not) but have been wrongly convicted for a sex crime, you can consult or
Sex offenders can be male or female. Some of the most serious cases of sexual abuse have been those involving not just adults, but also children. Parents are required to take precautions and guard their children against pedophiles as most of them turn out to be someone the parents trust, is familiar to the child and/or a person of authority. Some of the common behavioral traits, which should act as warning signs for parents, that are found among child sex abusers are:
- Telling the child that they are special and treating them differently from other kids
- Looking for excuses to spend time alone with the child
- Touching the child inappropriately, especially on intimate body parts
- Asking the child to carry out activities that involve intimate physical contact like massaging/rubbing the body, applying ointments, etc. or performing the same on the child
- Looking at or touching the child's body on the pretext of observing their growth and development
- Saying or describing sexual things to the child
- Talking to the child about their body and their overall appearance in a sexual way
- Showing sexually explicit pictures and videos to the child
- Entering the child's room or bathroom when they are also in there
- Not letting the child have friends and not letting him do things that other children do like playing, going out, etc.
- Insisting that the child must not talk to anyone else except him/her (the pedophile)
There are things that
Things They Need to Know
Educate your child about who he is and where he stays i.e. his address, complete with street name and number, area code, etc. Your child should also know your contact details. Teach your child how to make calls to emergency numbers and explain his problem. Knowing all this information would be very useful, in case the child ever happens to go missing or gets lost somewhere.
Names of Body Parts
It is important to teach your child the names of different body parts, especially their private parts. Tell them that these body parts must always be kept covered and no one is allowed to touch them except the parents while grooming them and the doctor while medically examining them, in the presence of their parents. Inform them that should they ever experience anyone touching them, especially without their consent, they should immediately report it to you.
Avoid Keeping Secrets
Parents must teach their child that nothing should be kept from them and there is no such thing as “our little secret” when it comes to the child's safety.
Make a pact with your child that if anyone, especially a stranger, were to offer them a lift in their car, or to take them out, or for any reason try to get them to sit in their car or come to their house, they need to ask for your permission first.
Saying “NO” is Okay
Teach your child that it is perfectly okay for him to say “no” to participating in activities that make him uncomfortable. Tell him that he does not need to listen to strangers or do anything that he is unwilling to do, if he's being talked to or touched inappropriately. Explain to him that he should not tolerate any inappropriate touching or talking by anyone.
Guard Against Online Predators
Keep a track of your child's online activities at all times. There are various software available that help you with that. Block websites that are inappropriate for them to view. Set limits to the time that your child spends on the internet. Pedophiles are adept at gathering information about the child from any source. Tell your child to never reveal his identity and contact details to anyone online; never disclose any information related to his school or daily schedule; and never to personally meet anyone or exchange photographs with someone he might have met online. If your child has been receiving emails or text messages containing violent or explicit content, he should bring it to your notice without fail.
Trust Your Instincts
If your child or you feel uncomfortable with unsuitable actions or behavior of others (toward your child), you need to immediately intervene or teach your child to trust his instincts and take action and speak up for himself.
The above mentioned pointers are just some of the measures you can take to protect your child. If you ever sense something wrong, talk to him about it or report it immediately to the police and let law takes its course.