from anovagrrl - Thursday, February 19, 2004
accessed 1335 times
I am totally freaked out by the naivete some folks have about the nature of child sexual abuse in the larger society and by their ignorance of how predators groom children to cooperate and keep the molestation activity secret.
The Family has a history of promoting and protecting predators, yet some people appear to think a few written policies are going to keep children growing up in The Family safe from these predators. What keeps children safe is parents who are educated about how predators groom children to participate in sexual activity and then keep that activity secret.
Anna Salter, PhD, wrote a book called "Predators: Who they are, How they operate, and How we can protect ourselves and our children."
She's presented this material 100 times better than I can, so I'm simply going to cite the text, which begins with a predator explaining how he operates:
“When a person like myself wants to obtain access to a child, you don’t just go up and get the child and sexually molest the child. There’s a process of obtaining the child’s friendship and, in my case, also obtaining the family’s friendship and trust. When you get their trust, that’s when the child becomes vulnerable, and you can molest the child…
“As far as the children goes, they’re kind of easy. You befriend them. You take them places. You buy them gifts…Now in the process of grooming the child, you win his trust and I mean, the child has a look in his eyes—it’s hard to explain—you just have to kind of know the look. You KNOW when you’ve got that kid. You know when that kid trusts you.
“In the meantime you’re grooming the family. You portray yourself as a church leader or a music teacher or whatever, whatever it takes to make that family think you’re OK. You show the parents that you’re really interested in that kid. You just trick the family into believing you are the most trustworthy person in the world. Every one of my victims, their families just totally thought that there was nobody better to their kids than me, and they trusted me wholeheartedly with their children…
SO HOW DID YOU KEEP YOUR VICTIMS FROM TELLING?
“Well, first of all I’ve won all their trust. They think I’m the greatest thing that ever lived. Their families think I’m the greatest thing that ever lived. Because I’m so nice to them and I’m so kind and so—there’s just nobody better to that person than me. If it came down to, you know, if it came down to, “I have a little secret, this is our little secret,” then it would come down to that, but it didn’t have to usually come down to that. It’s almost an unspoken understanding.
“If a family becomes suspicious, well, they’re not really going to bring it to me, they’re going to bring it to the kid first. And the kid, I’ve got the kid so well groomed that the kid’s going to bring it to me and say, “Well, my mom asked me, you know, if you’ve ever tried to do anything to me or anything like that.”
"Well, then I begin working on the family by still being kind of nice to them, but maybe backing off of that child just enough to where the parents’ suspicion gets back down again. Maybe I’m not with them as much. I won’t maybe have as much physical contact. I won’t put my arm around the child as much. I’ll do everything, whatever it takes to convince that family that there’s not a problem.” (Salter, Predators, pp. 42-44)
WHY WOULD A CHILD NOT TELL? (Salter, Predators, pp. 28-29)
“There were times that I raped in a car with the parents in the front seat, me in the backseat with the children. The child would feel such a bond of trust that the child would decide okay, I’d like to go to sleep, and I’d manipulate the child and lay him across the seat and molest the child with my hand on his penis. By forcing my hands on his penis while the parents were in the front seat.”
For reasons we do not clearly understand, children freeze when confronted with something they cannot make sense of. A child in the back seat of a car with an adult’s hand on his penis is not going to know how to understand or explain that. He will think that an adult whom he loves and respects can’t be doing anything wrong. Besides, this is an adult his parents respect. He will likely wonder if his parents even know and approve. After all, they’re in the front seat (when the molest occurs). Or he’ll be embarrassed and wonder if he will be blamed.
Regardless of the reason, the fact seems undeniable. IT IS ONLY A MINORITY OF CHILDREN WHO DISCLOSE ABUSE (when it is occurring). No study on this topic that I know of has ever found otherwise.
If children can be silenced and the average person is easy to fool, many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people. One molester, who was himself a minister, said:
“I considered church people easy to fool…they have a trust that comes from being Christians…They tend to be better folks all around. And they seem to want to believe in the good that exists in all people…I think they want to believe in people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or without convincing words.”