Sexual Abusers Who Target Minors Manipulate the Trust of Adults and Children
Although a lot of people believe they can spot a sexual abuser or “just know” that someone is a potential threat to children, the truth is that many sexual abusers are seemingly normal people who are much-loved or well-respected members of the community. In fact, many predators and abusers rely on building a sense of trust and authority with a family before abusing a child, and families can be shocked to find out the truth—even to the point of disbelieving a child’s allegations.
Sexual abusers may try to manipulate a community’s trust and gain unsupervised access to a child by:
- Relying on a position of authority in an organization or community
- Offering to help out at childcare facilities or volunteer time at children’s programs
- Building a sense of rapport or trust with parents
- Showering a child with special gifts and attention
Although you may have met and liked the teachers, priests, volunteers, and other care providers who interact with your child, you can’t always rely on how a person appears or your “gut feeling” about him or her. Instead, you should insist on knowing how organizations screen and supervise the people who interact with vulnerable children and make sure that appropriate steps have been taken to keep your child safe.
If you believe your child may have been sexually abused by a trusted authority figure, we understand you may be overwhelmed—but you are not helpless. Get answers and learn more about your family’s rights by contacting our law office at 312-332-1400 for help.