There are signs a person who molests children put out. Signs that you can be alert to that might signal a person is a child molester.

How often have you heard someone describe a person who was just arrested for molesting children like this; "I can't believe he would do such a thing. He was always so good with the kids in the neighborhood. He would take them to ball games and buy them candy. I just can't believe he would harm them."

If it is not a parent or guardian harming our children, then it is someone with access to the child like a ball coach, a teacher, a priest or preacher, a scout leader or anyone with a job where there is contact with children.

You don't hear of someone down at the auto plant molesting children because there are no children in the factory to molest. (Unless he has a job on the side working with children or his own children.) If someone is a child molester, they will find ways to be around them.

(As I write this, the Catholic Church is in a crisis about allegations of molestation against members of it's clergy and the response the church took when confronted with those allegations. The Catholic Church was wrong in how they handled the cases in the past. No excuses should be made and changes need to be implemented immediately to make sure they don't handle these cases that way again.

But I also want to say that 99% of all priest are not pedophiles. They are committed to their faith and to helping people. People who molest children are sick. Their desire for children is stronger than even their faith. An occupation or a lifestyle does not lead to someone becoming a child molester. Do not put all priest in the category of pedophiles.)

Here are some of the warning signs you should be alert to. (And I again want to caution you that even if someone exhibits one of these signs, that does not mean they are a child molester but you and anyone with children around this person should be cautious and have your radar screen up for trouble.)

bulletSomeone who talks constantly about sexual activities of children.
bulletA person who spends his spare time doing things with children and not adult friends.
bulletThis person seems to always have a special child friend. And this friend might change from time to time.
bulletSomeone who will ridicule a child by calling them names with a sexual tone. Names like slut, whore, stud etc.
bulletThey will ask their adult sexual partner to act or dress like a child during sex.
bulletLooks at child pornography. (It is estimated over 35% of people who view child porn sexually abuse children)
bulletThey will tell children to keep secrets and not tell anyone of certain activities.
bulletSomeone who gives money to children or buys them expensive gifts for no known reason.
bulletA person who is overly affectionate with children. This might include kissing, tickling, hugging, wrestling or touching a child even when the child tells them to stop.
bulletSomeone who walks in on children in the bathroom.
bulletA person who becomes defensive when asked about a child's health or they give conflicting stories about injuries.

As I said on my page describing what child molesters look like, people that hurt children are male or female. They are from all races. They are rich and poor. They are old and they are young. They go to your church and they go to your grocery store. They look just like you and me and we have no way of telling them apart physically.

But we do have these warning signs we can be alert to. It takes each one of us to stop incest, physical child abuse and child molestation.

And you can also educate yourself to ways you can protect your children from being molested. Read my booklet, 101 Ways To Protect Your Children From Child Molesters to learn what you can do to safeguard your children from these predators and to learn some of the "tricks" child molesters use to gain access to children.


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Susan Kesegich - Incest Survivor