Ninety percent of child molesters know their victims. Would you recognize a predator near your family? Dr. Phil explains the five stages a pedophile goes through to groom a victim:
The Five Stages of Grooming By a Pedophile
Stage 1: Identifying a Possible Victim
Although pedophiles differ in their “type” regarding age, appearance and gender, all pedophiles will look for a victim who seems in some way vulnerable.
Stage 2: Collecting Information
The next step is for the pedophile to collect as much information on the targeted victim as possible. This is most commonly done through casual conversations with both the child and the parents or caretaker.
Stage 3: Filling a Need
Once the individual has the information he needs, he then becomes part of the child’s life by filling a need. If the victim is poor, for example, the pedophile will provide him/her with expensive toys. If the victim is lonely, the pedophile will act as a friend.
Stage 4: Lowering Inhibitions
The pedophile will then start to lower the child’s inhibitions concerning sexual matters. He may come up with games or activities that involve getting undressed, make sexual comments or show the child pornographic images or pictures.
Stage 5: Initiating the Abuse
At this final stage, the pedophile begins to sexually abuse the child.
“A big portion of these pedophiles will pick a family that is distressed,” Dr. Phil says. “They’ll pick someone who’s underfunded, maybe both parents are working or it’s a single mother, there may be illness in the family and the kids are kind of being pushed to the side and being neglected. So we have this savior that comes in and says, ‘Hey, let me help out’… What this tells you is those who seem to be helping the most, those who maybe seem to be the most kind, the most giving, the most willing, the most helpful and available, are the very ones you need to audit the most.” He adds, “Pay attention if there’s somebody who knows too much about what your children are into.”