Garry Cooper, LCSW at jennifergildredarttherapy.com:
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention; What Child Sexual Offenders Tell Us
About How They Attract Child Victims
"Parents are so naive. They're worried about strangers when they should be worried about relatives. They don't realize how devious we can be. I used to abuse children in the same room with their parents."
"Know that we will use any way we can to get to children." One disabled person spent months grooming parents so they would tell their child to go with him and help him.
Tell children they never need to keep secrets or feel they're to blame if someone touches them or they touch someone else. "Secrecy and blame were my best [allies]," said one offender. Openness and a no-secrets attitude are the best antidotes to the shame that is an ideal breeding ground for continued abuse.
From the horses mouth... The majority of sexual abuse currently being perpetrated could probably be prevented with the right kind of education and atmosphere at home. If a child feels loved and trusted and knows that no topic is taboo there will be less secrets. Baring violent, presumably one off sexual assault by strangers, perpetrators rely on secrecy. Given that over 90 percent of perpetrators are known to the child, the perpetrator's very lives can depend on that secrecy. The consequences of disclosure for perpetrators are usually catastrophic from their perspective. Removing secrecy and blame from the perpetrator's toolkit will go someway to neutering them and protecting our children.