When we discovered Kalyn had been sexually abused, I was totally stunned. We had always been so careful! I could not believe that we could have been tricked.
Sadly, there were so many things about "grooming" behaviors that predators use that we did not know!
That is why I am so passionate to spare other families this pain. So here are 10 key facts about this mysterious thing called "grooming" that I wish I had known…
1. Grooming is the process used by predators to desensitized a victim.
Victims of sexual abuse do not usually perceive a way to escape. So they go along with the most horrible sexual acts of a perpetrator without getting help.
2. Grooming is a gradual process.
Here is a good short article that describes the stages and methods of the technique. Understand the process so you can detect it! (Then read Kalyn's story to your kids so they can see how it happened to a real person.)
3. Grooming is hard to recognize.
When we went to the police in our case, they assured us that even the most astute observers can be tricked!
4. Grooming has a voice.
The victims are trapped by predictable words of flattery, manipulation, and threat. Read some of these words to your kids.
5. Grooming works even on "smart people."
Because it is a psychological/spiritual process, it can work past the gate of normal intellect.
6. Grooming behaviors often involve an adult who is living on a teen or child level.
Predators often live in a child/teen world by playing, interacting, and talking as one of the "cool insider adults." They will break rules and hide the activities from the other adults in supervision.
7. Adults and leaders who are supposed to be protecting kids and teens are often groomed first....before the victim.
Predators are often the most helpful, easy going, high functioning adults that you least expect. So it is easy to dismiss odd behaviors and fall into their deceptive trap.
8. When a victim has been groomed to cooperate, they feel powerless to get help...but they are not powerless!
Kids and teens need to know you will always believe them and help them if they ever have a problem. They are not powerless with you on their side.
9. Not everyone who is friendly and nice to our kids is grooming a victim, but our kids need to hear from us that we want to hear about all uncomfortable, suspicious behavior they observe.
No one wants to be a tattle tale, especially on a trusted adult. So we must build a relationship with our kids where it is okay to share all concerns even if they prove to be ungrounded.
10. Ultimately only adults can protect teens and kids from sexual grooming behaviors.
Never depend on your child to recognize something that even experts say is tough to see. Do the training, and talk to your kids, and most important, be alert and watchful. Check out our book Unmask the Predators for help in designing plans to keep your kids safe in this sexually perverse culture.
Begin an ongoing conversation with your kids today about this incredibly important issue!
Do you know a friend who could use this help also? The more we spread the word, the more eyes and ears become alert to these dangers in your own community of people.
The Top 10 Things I Wish I Had Known about Child Sexual Predators Before it Happened to our Family
An Open Letter to My Fellow Homeschool Parents: Sexual Predator Accusations Among Homeschoolers?
Why We Called the Police and Why You Should Also
Parents Take Drastic Action; Teachers Defend Sexual Predator