WHAT ALL PARENTS SHOULD KNOW
The majority of adults who work with children do not harm them. Most environments are safe and provide fun experiences. However, there are individuals who will abuse their position of trust and offend against children. As is the case in any environment, you need to be informed about specific risks connected to the extra-curricular and community programs in which your child may be involved.
- Those who deliberately seek access to children to satisfy their deviant sexual interest. This behaviour is calculated and purposeful.
- Those who have emotional and/or psychological problems rather than deviant sexual interests. This may start with a friendship between the child and adult which becomes distorted, resulting in inappropriate interactions and sexually abusive behaviour. The adult may not have any prior history of sexually offending, yet finds him/herself in a situation where his/her needs are met by exploiting children.
Child sex offenders target children in organizations because they believe:
- They can gain the trust of the victim and those around the victim
- They can get away with it
- There are no clear consequences within the organization
Offences may go undetected because:
- The offender appears to be a dedicated, outstanding employee/volunteer: extremely friendly, helpful, great with children, well-liked, etc.
- Fellow employees/volunteers and parents cannot imagine that such offences could or would be attempted
- Fellow employees/volunteers and parents believe they would know/notice if misconduct or abuse was occurring
- The offender conceals the behaviour as legitimate job duties: caring for children, going on outings, spending extra time working alone with a child, participating in overnight trips, toileting, seeking assistance from a child, etc.
“ Many offenders are not just pretending to be nice, they are nice.”