You never suspect a member of the family or someone you trust to abuse your child sexually. However, a significant percentage of child abuse cases show that the abuser is often someone highly trusted by at least one of the parents. Grooming allows the offenders to slowly get to your child by breaking natural boundaries before they begin the abuse.
If you suspect a close friend or family member to be grooming your child but do not know for sure, there are certain red flags you should look out for. Grooming makes it easier for an abuser to carry out their desires because they have already earned the child’s trust. If your child was injured, speak to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer today.
Child grooming red flags
- They give special attention or preference to your child.
When someone gives special attention or preference to your child, you may not think of it as something more than genuine love and care. However, you should be alerted when you see someone trying to get too close to your child. Check how they behave with other children and see if they act differently around your child.
When you sense that a boundary is being crossed, describe it to the other person and tell them that you do not want the behavior to repeat.
- They have a shared secret with your child.
Remember that no uncle, aunt, or another family member should be closer to your child than you are. Grooming often involves the abuser gifting alcohol or erotic magazines to a child to gain their trust, which is hidden from the parents under the pretext of “our secret.” Once they do so, they will ask the child not to reveal it to anyone, or they may be punished.
- They touch and hug your child very often.
While it has been normalized in many cultures, someone apart from a child’s parents should be touching them constantly. Abusers usually test their limits by touching the child, such as putting their arm around them to see how they react. They may even do this in front of other adults and parents to make it seem normal.
It is important to teach your child the good and bad ways of touching. Teach them what inappropriate touching looks like and that it is okay to say no to people touching them.
If your child was hurt in a sexual abuse case, contact an attorney in Los Angeles today.