Sexual Predator Facts:
- The Federal Health and Human Services Department reports 900,000 cases of child abuse annually. Because abuse and neglect are vastly under-reported, they project that this is only 1/3 the actual total.
- Individuals who have been abused or neglected as youngsters are 29% more likely to become violent criminals than are other children. Based on this estimate, 36,000 of the 900,000 children reported abused annually will become violent criminals when they reach adulthood, 250 of which will become murderers.
- Sex offenders come from all walks of life and from all socio-economic groups. They can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non-religious, educated or uneducated and from any nationality or ethnic group.
- Offenders develop predatory behaviors early, between the ages of 8 and 12. They feel their behaviors are natural although they understand such behavior is criminal.
- A predictable cycle of abuse creates abusers of the abused. Children who are abused or neglected are far more likely to become criminals as adults. This makes it important to recognize abusive behaviors in families, schools and communities at large and take action to address the situation.
Understanding Sexual Predators
- Although some sex offenders are strangers and stalkers, many know the victim as a family member, friend or neighbor. These predators target adults, teens and children and often have well-developed techniques for luring victims. These include cautious predatory search for an easy victim and practiced assessment of the victimâ€™s vulnerability (safety and security levels), personality, physical abilities and lifestyle.
- Serial killers and sexual sadists, both predators, love to drive. It is not unusual for them to put thousands of excessive miles per month and year on their car.
- Predatory behavior is resistant to permanent rehabilitation: at least 50% of all convicted sexual predators will re-offend.
How Do Predators Select Their Victims? *
Vulnerability â€“ 100%
Availability â€“ 98%
Gender â€“ 95%
Location â€“ 66%
Race â€“ 63%
Appearance â€“ 39%
No special reason â€“ 25%
* Source: Hazelwood and Warren, 1995
Child Victims of Sexual Predators
- Because of their vulnerability, children are a favored target of sex offenders.
- One in four girls is sexually abused before the age of 14.Â One in six boys is sexually abused before the age of 16.
- The median age for reported sexual abuse is nine years old.
- Research shows that reporting of these offenses is very low.Â One study reported that only one in ten child victims reports the abuse.
- Children are the segment of our U.S. population with the highest crime victimization rates.
- Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are 3.5 times more likely to be sexually abused than the general population.
- The U.S. leads the world in its rate of juvenile homicide victimization.
- The average pedophile
- will victimize between 50-150 children before he comes to the attention of law enforcement.
- seeks out mothers of single parent families to victimize their children.
- likes places where children congregate.
- participates in activities with teens, seeking activities that exclude adults or offering sports expertise to parent/teens who want to excel.
- seeks employment or volunteers where they will be in contact with children and teens.
Child Safety Tips
- Good communication between parents and children is the most important way to keep them safe from sexual abuse. Talk to them every day and take time to listen and observe.
- Introduce safety information to children as early as age two. Even young children can understand concepts related to abuse; for example, some wrong-minded adults, even someone they know and trust, may try to touch, threaten or hurt them.
- Many parents warn their children not to talk to strangers. But more often than not, the child knows an abuser or abductor: a school bus driver, teacher, relative, neighbor or family friend. Many times the molestation occurs in the victimâ€™s or abuserâ€™s home.
- Teach your children what behaviors and situations are unacceptable and how to avoid them, such as what touches are good and what touches are bad. No one should touch them in the parts covered by their bathing suit, and they should not be asked to touch anyone there.
- Donâ€™t let anyone take the childâ€™s picture without permission from his or her parents or teacher.
- Teach children to stay away from people who call them to their car.
- If someone tries to take a child, they should yell, â€œThis person is not my father (or mother),â€ and run.
- If lost in a store, the child should find another mom with children or go to the checkout counter. They should not wander around on their own.