Learn Pedophile Characteristics and Save a Child
In February 2012, Daniel Sayers, an NYPD auxiliary police officer who retired after 37 years of service was arrested for child pornography. He owned a children’s sports club for 25 years and coached young children. His massive photo stash of naked boys involved in sex acts gravely concerned the department he had worked with so many years. Federal law has criminalized possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography.
Joining the ranks of pedophile priests, school teachers, police officers and judges, prominent sports figures and university coaches have had child sex abuse allegations filed against them in the past year. Parents often worry about their children being victims of stranger abductions and teach them to avoid parked cars and strangers asking for help. But naive caregivers are unaware that most child molesters are men they know and trust, friends and relatives who are sexually attracted to children.
Pedophiles commonly have collections of photos, typically of children they have molested and those of the age and sex they desire. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association designates pedophilia as a mental illness. This complex disorder of thought and desire typically begins in young adolescent males and extends over a lifetime. Intense sexual fantasies about children may be fueled by pornography. Years in prison and counseling are ineffective.
Because pedophiles often operate in plain view and in positions of power, they usually display normal behaviors and are difficult to detect. They may be generous and helpful, offering to care for children. Youth pastors, scout leaders, special education teachers, babysitters, coaches and fitness coaches, are common positions where you will find them. For example, a retired Yankee baseball player and a youth coach in Oyster Bay, NY, was arrested for victimizing an 8-year-old-girl player.
A number of key pedophile characteristics are: unmarried men with few or no friends their age, in homes with child attractants such as a game room set up for children, and collections of toys and videos for kids. Teens who hang out with younger children bear close watching. If you see a combination of these elements, be cognizant of child reactions in their presence. When a child tries to avoid a certain uncle, babysitter or situation, be vigilant and follow their cues. Abused children are usually silenced by their molester with fear and cannot initially disclose the harm they’ve endured. (Photos are convicted pedophiles including: a priest, father, brother, grandfather, teacher, doctor, etc.)
Pedophiles become adept liars concealing their deeds and showing no empathy for the children they harm. Parents must learn to watch for pedophile traits, teach their children safe behavior and to report any incident that makes them fearful or uncomfortable.
Until recently, many child victims were not believed because abusers are often friends or prominent community figures. Families concealed known or suspected abuse. They did not want to bring out scandal by exposing the abuser. But they fail to consider how their inaction causes harm to future victims.
When crimes against children are hidden, the victimized child is abandoned. Even if the molestation stops, without treatment the traumatic effects of abuse may last a lifetime. Abuse or suspected abuse must be reported to child protective services and to the police. Pedophiles cannot stop. They must be prosecuted.
Dr. Kuffel is the author of Eyes of a Pedophile: Detecting Child Predators.
The book is available on a special price reduction for the month of February for $2.99.