When it comes to protecting your children from sexual abuse, one of the most important tools at your disposal is education. If you learn the facts, signs, and perpetrator patterns for childhood sexual abuse, you will be better prepared to defend the innocence of your children.

A former FBI profiler, Kenneth V. Lanning, divided child sexual abuse perpetrators into three different categories. Each has different grooming patterns that they use to gain access to children.

Below are the Three Types of Perpetrators and How Each Usually Behaves:

01

Grabbers

Stranger Danger came about in direct response to grabbers. These are strangers of the child who lure them in some way (candies, puppies, etc.) and usually perpetrate against a single child only once, although they will perpetrate against many over time. They make up a mere 10% of perpetrators, even though most people think of grabbers when they think of a perpetrator.

02

Granters

This would be someone with an aspect of authority over a child within the circle of trust. A parent, step-parent, teacher, coach, or clergy member who perpetrates against a child would be considered a granter. They use threats and blackmail as well as withholding care, favors, or other needs to get what they want. It is difficult for a child to come forward against a granter because they are tied so closely to his or her everyday life.

03

Groomers

These are usually acquaintances who are part of the circle of trust. They are charming, grooming both the child and his or her parents to get access to the child. They use flattery, gifts, and encourage keeping secrets. They are the opposite of a grabber in the fact that they will take their time with one individual child, or a small group of children. Though they start with kindness, they will also use threats to keep their secret and keep the child under their control.

Though these are the three major categories, not everyone will fall under just one. They may show signs of more than one, like a family member who behaves like a groomer instead of a granter. The important thing to remember is that YOU are your child’s biggest protector. Educating yourself about who and what to look for will make a big difference in keeping your child safe.

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