Sexual Predators: Five Signs to Look out For

Sexual Predators: Five Signs to Look out For

An individual who employs predatory or abusive methods of obtaining sexual contact with another person is known as a sexual predator. In some cases, sexual predators are not just looking for sex. Sexual intimacy is seen as a way to assert dominance. Sexual predators may prey on children. The most effective way to protect your children is being able to identify the common traits of sexual predators and learning to recognize these five warning signs below. 

Being in Close Contact with Children 

Often, a sexual predator specifically interested in children will prefer to be associated with children in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Many sexual predators don’t have many friends their own age or they spend a lot of time with children. 

As they spend a great deal of time with children, they may behave inappropriately as well. For example, they may frequently engage in physical interaction with the child, such as wrestling, tickling, kissing, or hugging. Anyone can be a sexual predator, even someone close to you or your child. Activities such as coaching sports, driving buses, and being a camp counselor all provide opportunities for potential predators to interact with children on their own without parental involvement.

Creating Emotional Dependency 

As the predator emotionally manipulates its chosen victim, it develops a sense of intimacy and dependency. The start of the relationship might be very supportive; sexual predators might give gifts, praise the individual, or call and text often. 

This gives the victim the impression that a special connection exists between them and the perpetrator. In the victim’s eyes, they may feel that the perpetrator is the only one who knows, values, and cares for them, or is better for them than other loved ones. Sexual predators can take advantage of this heightened sense of loyalty and vulnerability. 

Using Manipulative Behavior and Language

Using manipulative language may be a sign of a possible sexual predator. Often, the predator insults or ridicules the victim’s behavior, style, attire, or other aspects of their personal lives. Upon being confronted about their conduct, the perpetrator is likely to embellish or falsify the information, potentially leading the victim to believe that they are at fault. It is common for predators to continually emphasize their own feelings as part of their attempt to make the victim feel guilty. 

Predators may also use gaslighting tactics. As a form of emotional abuse, gaslighting causes a person to question the memory, judgment, and views they hold. Gaslighting is meant to make the victim doubt their memories or perceptions by pushing them to accept the abuser’s interpretation of events or perception of the relationship. 

Pushing Physical and Sexual Boundaries 

Sexual predators may overstep acceptable boundaries. Initially, this may be seen as a harmless touch on the back, hand, or leg. But it may progress to unwelcome contact or unwanted sexual advances, such as touching or fondling without consent, near the genitals or breasts.

Sometimes, when a predator has already developed a relationship with a victim, they may violate a predetermined boundary or ignore the victim’s wishes. In some cases, manipulation can be used to coerce the victim into doing something that they don’t want to. 

As part of the predator’s initial approach, they typically try to introduce and normalize sexual ideas to children. When talking about sexual activity to a child, a predator may use suggestive humor, show them pornographic material, or imply that they should perform certain actions, which may persuade the child to think that sexual activity is like a game. 

Jealous and Controlling Behavior

Many times, sexual predators display jealousy, possessiveness, and unreasonable behavior directed towards friends, family, and other romantic partners. They may keep a close eye on the victim’s social media accounts, private life, and daily activities. In some cases, predators may appear to lack social connections. Additionally, they may disregard social boundaries.

There is a point at which a predator becomes controlling. The perpetrator may interfere with the victim’s relationship with others, especially if they feel threatened or if they are in the opposite sexual orientation as them. 

Our Minnesota Child Sex Crime Lawyers Can Help 

A parent who is accessible and has open communication with their children will be better able to protect them from predators. As children grow, they should be able to discern what is and isn’t appropriate behavior and express this openly with their families. Ideally, parents should be aware of and monitor their children’s daily lives and should set clear rules and boundaries regarding their children’s behavior and privacy. Sadly, that doesn’t always suffice. 

If you believe your child was a victim of a sex-related crime, they may qualify for compensation. Find out if you qualify for civil litigation by contacting Knutson + Casey as soon as possible. We are available to take your call at (507) 344-8888 or submit your details to our online contact form to request a free consultation.