How Child Sexual Abusers Groom Children

Child Sexual abusers win the confidence of children to maintain their silence while the sexual abuse continues. (What Sexual Offenders Tell Us About Prevention Strategies. Child Abuse and Neglect. Conte, R., Wolf, S., and Smith, T. 1989; The Process of Victimization: The Victims’ Perspective Child Abuse and Neglect. Berlinger, L. and Conte, J. 1990; Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: What Offenders Tell Us. Child Abuse and Neglect. Elliott, M., Browne, K., and Kilcoyne, J. 1995)

Offenders usually go into a great deal of trouble to gain access and make themselves welcome in the victim’s home prior to the abuse. (Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: What Offenders Tell Us. Child Abuse and Neglect. Elliott, M., Browne, K., and Kilcoyne, J. 1995)

One in five offenders claimed they had gained the trust of the victim’s entire family in order to be able to sexually abuse the child…essentially doing everything they could so the family would think there was nothing unusual or unordinary about spending time with the child. (The Silent Children: A Parent’s Guide to the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. Sanford, L. 1980)

Offenders reported that they were attracted to children who seemed to lack confidence or had low self-esteem. (Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: What Offenders Tell Us. Child Abuse and Neglect. Elliott, M., Browne, K., and Kilcoyne, J. 1995)

In many cases, children are targeted because the relationship between the child and offender filled a significant deficit in the child’s life, or disclosure of the offender’s actions “seemingly” presented a “serious problem” in the child’s life. (The Process of Victimization: The Victims’ Perspective Child Abuse and Neglect. Berlinger, L. and Conte, J. 1990)

The grooming of adults is a well-organized, long-term activity, with substantial thought and planning going into the event. (The Silent Children: A Parent’s Guide to the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. Sanford, L. 1980)

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