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Child “Abusers”

There is no such thing as a “typical” child abuser. Abusers come from all age, ethnic, social, and economic groups. Research shows that most abusers are male; however, both men and women abuse children. In addition, children are almost always abused by someone they know and trust; a family member, family friend, relative, babysitter, or neighbor.

The abuser usually tries to control the victim. The abuse often begins gradually and increases over time until they are discovered. The abuser may us “grooming” behaviors, force, tricks, and threats, pressure a child into sexual behavior, or make the child feel responsible for the abuse. It is true that some child sexual abusers were also sexually abused as children, however, most child sexual abusers come from homes in which some form of physical, sexual, or psychological violence was present. These “grooming” behaviors are also often used on the child’s caregivers to make them feel safe with this person.