Archives For grooming

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What I heard yesterday, every parent in America today needs to hear. I mean that sincerely.

All of our sessions in the National Sexual Abuse Prevention Week have been extremely helpful to Doug and me. We strongly urge you to take advantage of the archived tapes.

Today I am sending a special plug for the one with Angela Williams of Voice Today. Her message is called The Grooming Mystery

Angela and my daughter Kalyn describe for us, using their own personal stories, how they were controlled by their perpetrators.

And what they tell you will definitely affect how you protect your children. Please, invest the time to listen.

If I had only heard this message 13 years ago....oh how differently my family's story could have been.

Love you all... and praying this week for your children's safety.

Will you pass this audio link to 3 friends??

 

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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.

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Gratefully linked to:
List It {Tuesday}
Wholehearted Home Wednesday
Faith Filled Friday

Related posts:
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

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I received this letter from a Frontline Mom last week:  (She said I could let you read her letter here.) 

Hello! I'm a homeschooling mom. I have recently been reading and learning about preventing all kinds of danger and abuse of children. I have a question about the subject of grooming. I really would like to be able to spot the difference between grooming behavior and typical close family friendship.

My husband and I believe that our family needs to be close to other Christians outside our family. We are part of both a church and a homeschool group that get together regularly in small groups in members' homes….

How do we grow close friendships with other families while still being confident that our children are safe playing outside our eyesight? How can we be sure our children are safe to play at even our closest friends' houses if we are not there?

A lot of what I read about the grooming process sounds like I cannot even trust my own gut and experience with people.

Thanks for your help!

I think she is asking some great questions, how about you?

Here are some of my best tips I want to give to our friend.

Dear S.:

I so appreciated your heartfelt requests! I think I can understand what you are saying.

Kalyn's sexual abuse totally shook my world. As I worked to recover our family, I thought for a while that the best strategy was to build a big moat around our home and pull up the drawbridge. But somehow that idea did not pan out for me! :)

I quickly discovered that fear, paranoia and hysteria were not helpful parenting motivators...  and were actually causing me to make errors in judgment. So instead, I adopted more reasonable approach. Here are 5 Important Strategies that helped me stay in balance.

1. Learn, learn, learn

Honestly, I did not know what I did not know about predators. I didn't understand that adults, if they are to pick up on the subtle grooming behaviors of predators, need to be saturated in the issue to the point where their senses are sharpened.

Read the stories. Learn the common tactics predators use with children, teens and adults. Learn the facts. And then after you have studied, link up to someone who calls your attention to the issue on a frequent basis, so it keeps the issue sharp in your mind and heart. (I can help you with that here on Frontline Moms and Dads. Start with our book Unmask the Predators. Read our posts and also click here for other websites to continue your education.)

2.  Build a team

One of the best strategies for deterring sexual abuse is to raise the standards in the groups your family frequents. You mention having groups of families who fellowship together. How about having a training meeting in your group? Bringing the issue into the light intentionally will raise the "bar of safety." Responsible, godly adults who study the issue will recognize the danger and then willingly submit to protective policies, because they care about all the children in the group.  No one wants our most vulnerable ones to be in danger of abuse!

Obviously, this is not the total answer.  Predators are known to infiltrate organizations where children are, and they will look for ways to violate your trust.   But when it is known that all the adults are on the lookout for suspicious behavior and everyone has pre-decided to report anything that is truly amiss, there is a degree of deterrence!

3.  Stay alert

In my book Unmask the Predators, chapter 12 is “26 Keys for Protecting Your Child from Sexual Predators.”

Key #2 is: Maintain a Watch List.  Please allow me to explain. In my previous way of thinking before Kalyn’s abuse, I would scan around me and classify people as either safe or dangerous—2 categories. But I understand now that this mindset can get us into trouble.  It can cause us to not to notice certain behaviors we should in a person we have already declared "safe."

Instead, now I am always watching. I just see what I need to see. I am always evaluating. I am NOT always expecting to see a problem. But I do not throw out data. I maintain alertness in accordance with 1 Peter 5:8.

4.  Sacrifice

Learning how to have safe standards in group settings is one thing. But putting them into practice consistently is another! I like the convenience of just putting one teenager in charge of a group of kids. But if I do that, I automatically increase risk to my program. So that means more manpower is required, which means more sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice is noise control when we need to leave kids in a room with us because we did not have a safe alternative.

I really appreciate the training programs of the insurance company our church uses. They can equip your group for safety. Check them out here.....and remember they only work with sacrifice!

5.  Pray and rest

Ultimately, only the Lord can carry this burden for us and keep our kids safe. Finding my own place of rest and faith was critical for me. As I maintain safety standards, I am regularly praying...

Lord, I pray that anything hiding in the darkness, You would bring to the light. Help me to see and know what I need to know. Protect our children from wolves in sheep's clothing. I plead the blood of Jesus over them and command every evil thing to stay away. In Jesus' Name!

Now as I pray, I match it with faith. God is at work! And my job is to trust and rest.

I hope those thoughts are some help! Let's stay in this fight for our kids' sake and the sake of a generation.

Love,

Lisa

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