Did I just hear you say sexually molesting a helpless child/baby is a mental disorder? Does that mean that very soon, child molesters and pedophiles will happily roam the streets free, after being acquitted from a non-guilty plea, on the cushioned grounds of insanity? No, I don’t want to believe that our world today is agreeing with this gruesome misconduct and grievous rebellion against the laws of nature. After being termed with a ‘fancy name’ to legitimize its birth, “Paedophilia ‘went further to being baptized as a ‘Psychiatric disorder’; subconsciously assisting its so-called sufferers in getting away with their acts. Whatever complicated theory the world may choose to weave about ‘Paedophilia” today, the simple fact is, we need to reject this mental slavery the second it lands on our runway; Starting from knowing how to protect your children from these pedophiles.

What is Paedophilia?

Before we can protect our children from pedophiles, we need to first and foremost understand what it is, its extent, and its limits. Therefore, we will look at its basic history/Evolution, definition, and signs of a pedophile/pedophilia.

History/Evolution of Paedophilia

Formally recognized and named in the late 19th century, the term ‘Paedophilia’ comes from Greek words; ‘Paidos’ and ‘Philia’, meaning ‘Child’ and ‘Friendship/friendly love’. This term was used to describe sexual interest in mostly male adults, to feel sexual urges or engage in sexual acts in prepubescent children; that is children who have not attained puberty. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders replaced the term ‘Paedophilia’ with ‘Paedophilic Disorder’ arguing that a paedophilic desire, practice or behavior in itself does not constitute a mental illness and that it is only a disorder when it mentally or socially affects the concerned individual and also exerts harm to unwilling persons or victims.

Definition of Paedophiles/Paedophilia

An intense and recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children is the basic definition of pedophilia. A pedophile is an adolescent boy/girl or man/woman who constantly feels sexual attraction and urges towards prepubescent children. A person must be at least sixteen years old for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia. The paedophilic disorder is classified as a ‘Paraphilic Disorder/Sexual Deviation’, meaning that individual experiences unusual fantasies, urges or behaviors which are recurrent and sexually arousing. Examples of other paraphilic disorders include sadomasochism, exhibitionism, fetishism, and so on.

Warning Signs of a Paedophile

There are no outward signs of a pedophile. They look and act very normal just like you and I. The only difference is that they are sexually attracted to children and you are not. However, below are ten warning signs you should look out for in a pedophile; gathered from existing criminal profiles and psychological studies. Remember, these do not make one automatically a pedophile but should be enough to make you as a guardian to be cautious. Be wary if:

1. He is a victim of molestation before himself.
2. He is most times someone close to you; a relative, friend, co-worker, neighbor, and so on.
3. He is always around children or has work related to children.
4. His environment is decorated in childlike decor that will appeal to the age and sex of the child he desires and not scare them away.
5. He is very patient. He spends time as much as possible with you or your child, constantly giving them gifts, prolonged hugs, and attention. In other words, the grooms both you and the child to trust him.
6. He watches or masturbates to child pornography.
7. He talks to or treats children like adults.
8. He is mostly friends with single mothers or women who lack adequate male support/involvement in their lives.
9. He has an impeccable reputation and good manners or a mental illness such as a mood or personality disorder.
10. He is always on online platforms popular among young children.

Protecting Your Child From Paedophiles

We have understood the concept of pedophilia and looked into the warning signs of a potential pedophile. Now this will help us in delving head-on into ways we can protect our children from falling victims to their traps. How you can protect your children from pedophiles include:

1. Educate your self

You need to be aware of the traits and behaviors before you can be able to protect your children from a pedophile. Most criminals including rapists, armed robbers, and serial murderers have similar patterns of behavior and regularly devise new ways of achieving their aim. Arm yourself with regular updates about the latest trends in use by these sexual predators so that you will not be taken by surprise.

Read Also: Montessori Education as a Tool for Arewa Mothers

2. Educate your Child to Keep Private Parts Private

Distinguish appropriate and inappropriate touching for your children. Let them know that there are good touches and there are also bad touches. Your child should know that a high five or a pat in the back is different from a butt squeeze or a kiss on the lips or tongue. Also, do not stigmatize teaching your child from an early age about the concept of private parts. Let your children understand that certain places in their bodies are not for the public. Go further to protect those places for them from public view when bathing or dressing them up. This includes family members also.

Besides, constantly remind them by saying things like; “Listen to me sweetheart, do not allow anyone to see or touch you here or here. Whoever asks you of such thing, run straight to me and tell me, okay?”. Assurances like these will keep your child alert and inform them that there is something wrong when someone tries to see or touch their privates. These will go a long way in ensuring you protect your children from pedophiles.

3. Teach your Child Not to Talk to Strangers or Follow Them to Places

Pedophiles usually observe a child they are interested in and work tirelessly to isolate them from their peers. They appear where they usually play and talk to them until they become a familiar face even if the child doesn’t know them. Immediately they establish familiarity, they will try to lure them to isolated places, have their way, and later disappear without a trace. Discourage your child as much as possible to feel at home with strangers.

4. Teach your Child to Inform you About Gifts

One of the popular ways pedophiles get to children is by giving them gifts. Generally, discourage your child from accepting gifts all the time.

“I will give you a packet of sweet if you let me see or touch you in this place”

A suspected pedophile

For the average child, this feels like a relatively fair deal if they don’t know that these are not things to bargain with. Also, whenever someone presents your child with a gift, encourage them to first show you before accepting or consuming it. If you notice any abnormal way in the gifts or manner which they are given, ask your child questions like; “Did he ask you to give him a gift in return?” Questions like this will help you understand the true intentions of the giver and in turn, protect your children from potential pedophiles.

5. Supervise your Child Regularly

Whether your child is alone or not, engaged in a playful activity or another; make sure you regularly show up in places where your child spends long hours on their own or with other people. Be positive that there are no short or long term disappearances from where your child is engaged in an activity. If left with a friend, family member, co-worker, or nanny, take breaks from work or what you are doing to check up on them regularly through phone calls or visits.

6. Do Not Leave your Children Alone in Public Places

At birthday parties, weddings, or shopping malls, keep your eye on your child at all times. Sexual molesters use these gatherings to snatch children away and force them. Also, watch out for onlookers who are always present at children gatherings without having an actual reason to be there. Also, refuse to send children to open doors when the door rings or send them on errands where they have to pass secluded places. Pedophiles are everywhere waiting for the perfect opportunity to snatch your child.

7. Be your Child’s Friend

This is one of the surest ways to protect your children from Pedophiles. Build an environment that is emotionally conducive for your child. Listen to their concerns and do not make them feel judged or ashamed. Remember, child molesters often use threats to keep your children quiet about the atrocities they constantly do to them. Your children can only overcome threats or fear instilled in them if they feel you can protect their interests after they disclose their secrets to you. Typically, child molesters target children who do not get much attention from their parents and act only after gaining their trust and friendship. Be friends with your child; share your thoughts and feelings, have open and honest conversations and they will never feel threatened or afraid to tell you their secrets.

8. Be Observant

Notice when your child is acting differently. Is your child behaving in a withdrawn manner around a certain person or cringes when you brush past their privates during bath time? Try to know your children’s regular pattern of behavior and watch out for any changes. If there is any, do not ignore them. Constantly ask your children how their day was at school, how the outing with an adult went, or why they are not playing with their friends. “Did you fall and hurt your buttocks?” Asking these questions regularly will keep the lines of communication open to bring up any answers to such matters and help protect your children from pedophiles.

9.Trust your Child’s Instincts

Do not dismiss your child’s claims about not wanting to be around someone simply because you feel that someone is too virtuous. Children have the best instincts and if they do not feel comfortable around someone, do not force them.

10. Monitor your Child’s Internet Activity

Children nowadays days are allowed to handle and operate gadgets at a very young age. Unfortunately, this has proven a favorable decision for pedophiles online who stalk social platforms and coatrooms popular among children. Sending them pictures to entice them before finally luring them into an open meeting. As a guardian, establish internet rules and regularly monitor your children’s online activity by asking them about people they meet and by checking it out on your own to help protect them from pedophiles.

Having looked at signs of a pedophile and ways we can protect our children from a pedophile, we have learned the following lessons:

  1. That individuals may be paedophilic but not act on their desires until given a chance.
  2. That a pedophile has no face stamp. He could be a stranger or a trusted person, a psychotic, or a normal person. Therefore, He may act after a long time planning or he may act spontaneously.
  3. That Paedophiles take advantage of children’s innocence to achieve their aim. Likewise, society’s ignorance to spread.

This article, therefore, advice guardians and the society to:

  1. Confront any individual exhibiting symptoms of pedophilia and advise him to get help.
  2. Do not trust anyone ahead of your child to the extent of putting your child in danger.
  3. Educate yourself and your child appropriately to combat this threat.

We must do our best to protect our children from harm at all costs. Say again that molesting a helpless child/baby is a ‘mental disorder’ and we will echo in unison the death of those who deservingly need to be punished for their acts. Sexually Molesting a child is a crime against mother nature. They wish to speak up for the rights of the mental health of people that engage in gruesome acts. Acts of sexually molesting children; including babies of only three weeks old. Meanwhile; Who is standing up for the mental health rights of children sexually molested every day?

Glossary

Sadomasochism: Psychosexual disorder in which erotic release is achieved through having pain inflicted on oneself.
Exhibitionism: Derivation of sexual gratification through the compulsive display of one’s genitals.
Fetishism: A form of sexual deviance involving erotic attachment to an inanimate object or an ordinarily asexual part of the human body.

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