Protecting children: Identifying signs of a child being groomed for sexual abuse

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  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 2, 2014 6:53 p.m.

    @one old man

    Anything that puts the government in the place of parents should be viewed with complete suspicion and distrust.

    The government does NOT know better.

    The mother and father should be viewed as most important.

    Why is the extreme left always trying to come between and even destroy the relationship between parent and child?

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 1, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    @cjb: I am familiar with three (3) instances of women teachers in Davis county having sex with students. In each of those three cases it was the student that came on to or groomed the teacher and the teacher finally succumbed...

    The implication here is that women are helpless creatures who have little will of their own and are always victims of males. The women in question were adults, teachers, authority figures with the responsibility to set boundaries and maintain a proper teacher/student relationship. To dismiss their crime in having relations with underage boys is to say they are second class citizens, little better than children themselves.

    Adults who have sex with minors commit a crime, regardless of gender. Teachers who have sex with underage students are perpetrators, not victims.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 1, 2014 8:15 p.m.

    A couple of comments here that express concerns about this law taking away "family rights" should certainly be viewed with suspicion.

    Children need to begin learning at an early age what abuse is and that it can come from ANY source -- including family members. Leaving this up to "family rights" is an open invitation to allow abusing family members to continue.

    I hope the legislature will have the guts to finally stand up to Gayle Ruzika, the Eagle Forum, and any others who try to stand in the way of this legislation. Shouldn't "children's rights" come before any other "rights?"

  • small town granny any town, UT
    March 1, 2014 7:03 p.m.

    to cjb: I believe the kids were the victims. What adult teacher can be called a victim when the adult KNOWS better and does it anyway?

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 1, 2014 6:28 p.m.

    I am incensed by the article saying over and over that "the majority" of sex-abusers of children are "not pedophiles." What?! Look up the definition of pedophile some time before throwing around assertions like that. That assertion ruins what's otherwise an important article.

    If you mean that most sex abusers of children are in, or have a history of, adult heterosexual relationships, that's actually true. But that doesn't mean they're not pedophiles. That veneer of respectability affords them the one thing they need, access.

    @cjb: We must assume that adults of majority age are legally responsible for their actions. That they were "tempted" by the actions of a minor is no defense. That a girl wore a skirt that was "too short," or wore "adult makeup," or whatever, is no excuse. An adult who doesn't understand their position and responsibility, and especially those in a situation of authority, deserve no quarter or excuse. They deserve punishment.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    March 1, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    It occurs to me that "grooming" is not the only explanation for these things that are listed as "signs of grooming"

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 1, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    I am familiar with three (3) instances of women teachers in Davis county having sex with students. In each of those three cases it was the student that came on to or groomed the teacher and the teacher finally succumbed and in each of those three cases the students were widely referred to as victims. It is also true that a young man of similar age in Davis county killed all his siblings and serious consideration is being given to charging him as an adult.

    If the emperor has clothes (and that is an if) they seem to be not much more than a speedo.

  • starrdusk Weed, CA
    March 1, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    I agree that this is a very well written article and that it is much needed. Concerning right ascensions comment.... exactly. Because there is no way to physically know if a person is going to molest a child, nor is there anything in most of their personalities that would give indication of this we need to understand that every teacher and mentor IS a potential molester or rapist. This does not mean that we treat them as such as far as our own relationship with them, it means only that the child needs to be aware of the warnings no matter who the adult/teacher/mentor is.

    My2cents, our parents of every generation has said the same thing when a law has been made that effects the children's safety....
    My generation of parents used to say the same thing when they began sex ed in schools.
    What they are doing here is much needed and does not overstep parental rights, and even if it did, in the case of abuse and molestation and rape, then the child's safety should outweigh the parental right to parent as they wish.

  • Just me. any town, UT
    March 1, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Many children see immorality displayed openly on the tv at home, and they are not protected from terrible influences in the home Often they go through childhood thinking that behavior is normal. So it is normal for some children to think the experience is normal, until the shame comes. Poor kids, so many don't have a chance.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    March 1, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    "The association estimates that 60 percent of abusers are those the child knows but who are not related to the child. This includes teachers, baby sitters, neighbors and family friends. About 30 percent are family members. Only 10 percent of perpetrators are strangers."

    From my own research, this statistic is flipped. Most of the sex abuse that I have personally known about was committed by a teenage offender belonging to the same family. Abuse by a family member is often not reported and is much, much more common then generally believed. I have known of many cases of child sexual abuse being perpetrated by siblings, cousins, and uncles who are themselves often children or teenagers. Parents don't want to report their own underage children or relatives for fear of causing family rifts and placing social stigmas on their own family members. Nobody wants to have their own child being labeled as a sex offender for the rest of his/her life. Parents need to have discussions with their own kids about this unfortunate truth and keep a strict vigilance in their own homes.

  • Lentzeh South Salt Lake, UT
    March 1, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Glad to see some intelligent conversation about this issue to counterbalance some who have a troubling paradigm. Having a first hand perspective of what is discussed in this article, I am grateful that this issue is being addressed in a productive way to heal the wounds for both the victims and their families, as well as rehabilitating the perpetrators so they won't victimize again. Those who would make this about anything else but the protection of the innocent or the healing of those violated are going in the wrong direction and become part of the problem.

  • KinCO Fort Collins, CO
    March 1, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    Wow. Sounds like this article cut a little close to home for a couple of the commenters.

    I think any adult knows of this kind of abuse happening to someone in their life. I certainly remember teachers in junior high and high school that the kids knew "something" was not right about. I graduated from high school back in the 70s, so that was long before sexual abuse was an openly discussed topic. But there were always adults that you knew to be wary of--and there were always kids who would be sucked in by those adults. The more aware we all are, the better we can protect our children and ourselves. Excellent article, long overdue.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    March 1, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    This is really a tough issue and a well written article. I believe that it is important to differentiate between male and female abuse. Males are predators in general while women are seducers. Both have their ways of gaining the trust of the unsuspecting. The issue is now complicated with the proliferation of "sex trafficking". Society is saturated with appeals to sex and lust. Churches are under attack. The idea of "breaking down churches" is to remove the moral norms and guidelines for prosecution under the law. There are legal protection groups which scream "free expression" under the law. That is the danger involved with the actions of one judge in overruling a recent Utah referendum against "gay marriage". This particular issue will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the rights of the people to defend its children must be protected at any cost. Drugs remove moral barriers and mesmerize the conscience. Pornography blurs moral distinction. Both of these issues are now viewed as "protected free speech". The fight between "the devil and Daniel Webster" is a never ending one.

  • bobziroll Murray, UT
    March 1, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Great job, Whitney! A close friend of mine was a victim of childhood sexual abuse all growing up, and I've tried to learn as much about it as I can ever since I learned about that. It's a very important topic to discuss, and I'm glad you've done such a good job covering it!

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    March 1, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    Excellent article, much needed. Classes should be held in schools for the children to learn. The one thing that was missing from this article (or I missed it) If the person tells you to keep a secret the touching, the kissing, the fondling. There is something very wrong. Tell your parents immediately. Keeping the secret is hard on the child, but the threats of what will happen if they tell is traumatic. My daughters adoptive father threatened her with, I would stop loving her; I would send her away.

  • BlueEyesBrittany Paris, 00
    March 1, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    When men respect women and are faithful to them in marriage and defend fidelity as a sine qua non requirement, then teen agers follow the same pattern and understand the importance of these values.

    So prior to anything, maybe men should treat women properly, be faithfuly to them. Then they can require the same from their spouse and from children.

    Until then, don t expect the world to ever be better than the mess we are currently in.

    If i remember well, Joseph Smith was a polygamist .. .. that is where all the men's bad behaviour started .... unless this is banned from any religion, i dont see how you can in any position to require good behaviour from anyone and, in particular, from young teenagers who see their dad getting away with everything and in particular the bad way they treat women.

    No wonder noone wants to get married considering how dangerous it all is.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    March 1, 2014 2:29 a.m.

    Propaganda at its worst is what this is. They have intentionally omitted the more crucial and destructive parts of this law that reaches into the homes and famlies where governemnt will have oversight in the private lives of parenting and child interactions can be construed as misconduct.

    All child ran already know the signs in the schools and classrooms but the intent of the law is to be carried out in the homes and private lives in a family where subjectivity is in the hands of child welfare services and government and how they choose to interpret or solicit data and lies from children about their home life and that could be many hundreds of ways to gain false misinformation.

    Its another law invading homes and parenting rights.

    Most of the time when children in schools do succumbed to teacher misconduct its a mutural consent especially with boys in puberty with hormonal development and a lesser offense. The real meat in this law is invasion of privacy in the homes.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    March 1, 2014 1:05 a.m.

    Not happy with the tone of this article that all teachers and mentors are potential rapists.

  • Arelius Provo, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 7:00 p.m.

    This is journalism at its best. Thank you for this informative and educational article and for raising my awareness of this issue.