Sexual Child Abuse Prevention – To Catch A Predator

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Do child predators bamboozle you? Is the headline from an email I received this morning from Yello Dyno.

“We’ve been bamboozled long enough. The old saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ has become the social norm, much to the delight of child predators.”–The Yello Dyno email continues.

Yes, I agree we have been bamboozled long enough by predators–and society is also being bamboozled by Yello Dyno. Yello Dyno’s focus regarding child sexual abuse looks at the sexual child abuse predator outside the family. This is totally misleading. Studies reveal that 80% of children, who are sexually abused, are abused by a family member; 19% are abused by people the child knows and trusts.

Yello Dyno techniques will help children who are targeted by a known person outside the family. However, the majority of children are being sexually abused by a family member. Government statistics report that only 1% of children, who are sexually abused, are abused by a stranger–however, that is what the media reports. Thus, the media is contributing to bamboozling society.

ABC Dateline reporter, Chris Hansen has presented a series, “To Catch a Predator.” Using decoys acting as a minor on the Internet Instant Messaging system predators are lured to a house where a decoy is waiting and the Dateline hidden camera crew is recording the event, while police watch nearby waiting to arrest the predator as soon as the predator has entered the house and learned from Chris Hansen that it is a set-up.

May 22, 2006, the 109th Congress 2nd session declared June as Internet Safety Month. Recently, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Cox Communication released a highly disturbing survey of youth between 13 and 17 years old about their use of the Internet.

o 4 percent of the children questioned have had face-to-face meetings with people they met on the Internet. One teen meeting a stranger is one too many.

o 30 percent said they have considered meeting someone face-to-face who they know only through the Internet.

o 71 percent reported receiving messages online from someone they didn’t know.

o 45 percent said they have been asked for personal information.

The list of tips for parents to protect their child on the Internet implies a predator could reach through the Computer screen and pull the child into an abyss.

The best tip to protect your child from any would-be child Internet predator is to provide them with the love, nurturing, guidance, connectedness and time they need to thrive in life. Children who have high self-esteem and strong family connections seldom are lured by a predator. The guidance they need regarding Internet conversations, no matter the web site is the same as when a stranger calls on the phone or rings the doorbell.

o Never tell a stranger on the Internet any personal information–the same as NEVER telling anyone on the phone that they are home alone or reveal any identifying information.

o Never trust a stranger on the Internet no matter how kind or friendly they seem to be–or if they tell you, “I know your Mom/Dad.”

o Never meet an Internet friend (stranger)–the same as NEVER opening the door to a stranger or getting in a strangers car.

I am baffled that many parents argue against what I am saying when I speak at teachers’ conferences, PTO meetings, day care centers and pediatricians’ offices. “That will never happen in my family or my neighborhood.”–they argue. They seem to only believe the neighborhoods on the other side of town are vulnerable to sex offenders. Studies reveal sex offenders are from all professions and economic status.

When will the majority come out of its well-guarded denial and stop Pedophiles/Ephebophiles from proliferating. Incarcerating sex offenders after the damage is done does little to stop the crime. The majority of sex offenders get out of jail in four years–85% re-offend. Not to mention the majority of sex offenders are in the family. We need to change the approach to stopping this insidious crime.

Stopping this crime begins at home.

write by Joyce


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