How To Spot Sexual Predators?

As parents, we need to look for proactive measures that will prevent sexual predators from harming our kids. According to Lynda Savage, LMFT, “A sexual predator is not only the one who acts out sexual deeds. It is also the one who allows sexual stimulation to occupy thoughts and speech. Males and females can and do perpetrate these thoughts if not actions, which appear innocent toward each other.” There’s a need to educate ourselves on identifying the common characteristics of these offenders. We need to use it to secure our family from the danger that these individuals may bring. And because no technological advancement can separate these sexual predators from ordinary people, we need to know what makes them different from the others. If we want to keep them away from having involvement in our lives, we should learn what to look for so we can act accordingly.


Characteristics Of A Sexual Offender

  • Sexual predators engage in repeated unnoticeable acts of physical contact with adolescents or young adults. Some examples of their actions are tickling or roughhousing. Though some people consider it normal at some point, it triggers a desire for these individuals.
  • An awkward physical contact with individuals that tend to go against their will becomes exciting for sexual predators. Inflicting humiliation and pain reflects their nonempathetic characteristic. They get excited by the idea of challenge in sexual contact.
  • Watching or participating acts of violence on a regular basis is one of sexual predators’ habit. They also like to watch others engaging in sexual activities secretly. Sometimes, even watching someone undressing becomes exhilarating for them as well. This practice is called voyeurism.
  • Sexual offenders take zero precautions when addressing public areas. Meaning, most of them enjoy being seen by others as they attempt to endanger or molest someone. They also find satisfaction in seeing images of people’s private parts. They find stimulation on the visual representation that somehow keeps them aroused.
  • These individuals lack empathy for their victims. Sexual offenders don’t see remorse on their actions and consider the practice valid for specific reasons. These include telling the victim they deserve the sexual abuse due to wearing revealing clothes.
  • Sexual offenders find happiness discussing sexual activities. They see it amusing when someone is sharing stories about sexual interactions.
  • Most sexual predators are likable. That is what makes them good at hiding their acts for so long. They are good at lying, manipulating, and convincing young adults to become part of their lives. According to Kathryn Brohl, LMFT, “The majority of sexual offenders know their victims.”

Sexual predators know what they are doing because they have a focused mindset. They practice the art of grooming where they gain the trust of their victim or his or her family to be able to start a sexual relationship in secret. It goes to a process that allows predators to fulfill their devious desires.

Methods Used By Sexual Predators

Identifying Their Victims – Sexual predators pick their targets based on the preferred age and looks. Sometimes, it could be the victim’s vulnerable traits. In many instances, the fulfillment of the act is due to parents not being around, the target has low self-esteem, or just trying to use friendship as a stepping stone for building up a sexual relationship. There are many different ways and reasons to identify their victims.

Gaining Access And Trust – It is the most crucial part of identifying a sexual predator because no one can see it coming. Since people get easily attached to someone who is helpful and likable, they tend to give out trust. However, the problem lies in the process of how sex offenders see the advantage of the situation. They will try to do small things that seem typical in people’s relationship with others in a way to gain trust. It is not something that victims or their family notice right away.

Becoming An Important Person – One of the most convincing methods of sexual predators is being a significant person in the family. It makes them hold the situation in their hands because their participation becomes needed. They use it as an advantage not to lose sight of their target and genuinely create a bond to keep them around.

Start Isolating The Target – Most sexual predators invest in a tight relationship with the victims and their families. However, when it is the time to engage in the sexual act, they begin to isolate their target. Meaning, they find ways to set up scenarios where they can remove the people away from the child’s parameter. It is the most advantageous state because victims are vulnerable in that particular situation.

The Infliction Of Fear – Sexual offenders inflict fear on their victims. Sometimes, they threatened to harm young adults or maybe someone they love. It becomes a perfect way to control the target so they won’t be able to seek for help.

Sexualizing The Relationship – Even the smallest thing that contains any physical contact brings gratification to most sexual offenders. These include putting an arm in the victim’s shoulder, rubbing someone on their back, placing a hand on the knee, and linking arms while walking together. From there, the feeling grows and becomes a sexual desire that predators take that way. According to Licia Freeman, LMFT, “A sex predator can be a sex addict, but it does not mean that every sex predator is a sex addict.”


It’s true that not everyone will go through the same stages of these acts because everyone’s process is going to be different with everybody else. However, as parents, we need to stay alert and cautious for our family and children’s sake.