The following article was reprinted with permission from Ministries Today, January/February 1989, in our Child Protection Guide, 3rd edition. Like most of our topics this is intended for adult reading.
I am a child molester. I have molested more than 80 little girls, ages 4 to 10. For the first time in my life I accept responsibility for my deviancy and criminal activity.
My reason for writing this article is to acquaint you with my tactics, similar to the tactics of other molesters, and to offer suggestions which may assist you in protecting your children from sexual abuse. Angela R. Carl, in Child Abuse, What You can Do About It, states that a child is molested every two minutes.
For the first time in print, I am exposing my own methods of operation in setting up my victims and how I manipulated the parents, as well as the victims, in order to sexually abuse children. I use the feminine gender because all of my sex-abuse victims are girls. However, the same strategy is used by child molesters who molest boys.
I tell the child our relationship is special. “You are my special little girl. I love you differently than any other little girl.” The victim understands that if she tells anyone, the relationship will end.
I remind the child that her dad and mom love me, and they are happy and very pleased that she is my “special little girl.” The victim will not wish to disappoint her parents.
I express to the child that I will always continue to do special things for her because of our special relationship and her being my special little girl. Implied is the loss of bribes should she tell.
I also express to the victim that I am making her feel good and she is making me feel good. This creates a belief of dual responsibility. The child believes that she is responsible and will not tell.
I tell the child that we both know that what we are doing is very wrong and ugly, and that no one should ever know. This creates a mutual responsibility so that the victim will not tell.
I cultivate and manipulate the parents and my victim into the relationship. I emphasize to the child, in the presence of her parents, how much I enjoy being able to share a special relationship. Then, vice versa, I tell the parents, in the child’s presence, how much I appreciate the child’s response to me and the social and spiritual progress I observe in the child. My victim then believes the parents approve of the relationship.
I express to the child how disappointed her parents will be if they know we are doing these “ugly things’ together, and I know “we will never tell anyone.” Again, the child chooses not to disappoint her family or have them disappointed in her.
I emphasize often to the victim, “You should not let me do this. I love you and I do not want to hurt you, so do not let me do it,” knowing that she has no choice. I put the responsibility on the victim, making her think it is her fault, therefore she will not tell.
I say to her, “Just this once, and no more.” The child believes it will be the last time. She agrees to experience the uncomfortableness of the situation and will not tell, in order to have the special attention and special favors.
I tell some of my victims that if anyone finds out, I will probably get into trouble, may have to leave and go somewhere else, and may never see her again. I emphasize she may get into trouble also. I continue by saying, “I will miss you and will not be able to do these special things for you.” Then I remind her of all the special things I do for her.
It is important to establish an atmosphere of trust at home, so children can and will share experiences in which they are frightened or feel uncomfortable. Once a child has been assaulted, the offender is apt to repeat the offense as often as he can manipulate the situation. I sexually assaulted some victims as much as four dozen times.
Listen to your child. Open communication is the best strategy to protect your child from sexual abuse. A child who has no one to listen to her, or who does not experience love and care, is most vulnerable for sexual exploitation.
I never molested a child who considered me a stranger. I carefully manipulated a trusting relationship, usually with the parents as well as the child. One interaction with a child changes the status of a stranger into a friend. Rather than warn a child about strangers, it would be better to teach her to be aware of actions and behaviors of adults toward her, or situations created by someone showing interest in her.
Become suspicious when someone manipulates trust and begins to shower excessive attention on your child. Confront the adult and inquire as to the motive.
Never force a child to kiss or hug an adult. Respect the child’s feelings and allow her to create the boundaries of her relationships with adults. Never force a child to go some place with an adult. If the child is reserved or resistant, she may have good reasons to be.
Always believe your child. If you show the child that you care and are willing to listen, she will usually tell you the truth. Be careful not to overreact, as you may inhibit the child from telling the whole story. If you suspect the child to be lying, allow her to talk. She will contradict herself if she is being dishonest or making up a story. If the child has been sexually abused, do assure her that it is not her fault.
As a child molester, I am most sensitive to a child’s vulnerability. I observe children that are emotionally deprived and denied the sense of belonging or being loved. Generally such children will allow me to spend time with them. They will become my special friend and choose to be with me – enduring the bad moments for all the good times we share, to have that sense of being loved and cared for and not alone.
I create an attachment by buying things for a child that she may be deprived of. This establishes an immediate bond and often trust. The child is willing to experience a moment of uncomfortable touching in order to get tangible rewards. A child tends to become attached to anyone who will spend time with her and enjoys the things she enjoys.
Observe your child’s behavior and be sensitive to change. A sudden change of behavior such as withdrawal, rebellion, aggression, nightmares, fear of being alone, bedwetting, stomachaches, headaches, genital discomforts, fear of being hugged, sudden drop in grades and/or interest in school, use of sexual talk beyond her maturity level or a desire to run away from home are all possible clues to sexual abuse. A talk with your child may reveal a situation that needs to be addressed and could prevent sexual abuse.
I hope that something I have shared will assist in the prevention of child sexual abuse. I was abused as a child for a period of six years. I trusted no one and was afraid to share with anyone, continuing to endure the abuse.
Take time with your child. It is one of the best investments you can make. Observe your child; it is the best prevention of sexual abuse. BE YOUR CHILD’S BEST FRIEND.