Profile of a Predator
| Predator stat
Cyber predators can be any age, any sex, any race or ethnic background. They are mostly male.
Spends a lot of time on the Internet. Believes it is a good place to hide. Thrives on secrecy.
Looks for vulnerable children to control and exploit.
‘Grooms’ a number of children at the same time.
Makes money by selling photographs or videos of children that are distributed on vast global Internet child pornography networks.
Patient. Sometimes predators will take weeks or even months to “groom” a victim.
Assumes false identities. These predators are habitual liars. They lie about their age, gender, appearance, address, job, school, friends. sports – anything to get their prey.
Modus Operandi (MO) of a Predator
| Predator stat
Two-thirds of sexual advances happen in chat rooms; one quarter happen on IM.
Looking for naïve and vulnerable kids to control and sexually exploit. Instant messaging (IM) and Internet chat rooms are the perfect place because it’s mostly kids who go there to talk and meet each other.
Understands Internet lingo used in chat rooms and IM. We’ve included glossary of chat room and IM language so you can familiarize yourself with it. However, these terms are constantly evolving.
Finds kids they like. (See Profile of a Victim) Generally the predator keeps several children in line for potential abuse. That increases their odds of success.
Needs secrecy to be successful at preying on kids. Predators find out where the computer is in the house to see if an adult is monitoring the child’s Internet use.
Predators make sure their victims erase all records of their conversations. That way if there’s trouble, adults or police won’t have any evidence of what they’ve been up to.
Predators intimidate their victim by telling their victims that their parents will be mad if they find out about their relationship. That way the kids won’t say anything to their parents because they’re afraid of their reaction. Naturally, as a parent, you would be concerned and try to stop the predator from hurting your child. Exactly what the predator doesn’t want.
Once they’ve established secrecy, predators spend a lot of time grooming kids, often months. They pretend to have the same interests as their victims, like the same sports, clothes, music etc.
Continues the grooming by gradually gaining the victim’s confidence and takes them off the public chat room to private conversations and intensifies the grooming.
Encourages the kids to reveal their private fears and secrets, like their problems and their sexuality. It’s easier for children to talk about private and embarrassing things because it’s not face-to-face; and it’s not a family member or someone at school that the kid will have to see every day.
Probes the victim to find out private information about family, friends, school, what they like to do and where they hang out.
Becomes increasingly sexual. Predators will even ask kids to perform sex acts and describe them. They might send pornography over the Internet. And they might ask their victims for photos or videos of themselves
- possibly pornographic images.
Sometimes the predators aren’t even interested in children. They want the photos to make money off of them. Child pornography is a big business on the Internet.
Profile of a Victim
Predator victim stats
- 7 out of 10 are girls; 3 out of 10 are boys.
- 8 out of 10 are over 14; 2 out of 10 are between 10-13. The younger children are often greatly distressed by their predator encounters.
- 4 in 10 has unsupervised access to the Internet.
- 8 out of 10 spend time in chat rooms or IM.
Generally the victims like to meet people and make friends on the Internet, like many children do.
Sometimes the kids are quiet or shy types. They might not have a lot of friends at school. They could be lonely.
Like a lot of teenagers, many of the victims are exploring their sexuality. Or they might feel confused about sex. And they probably aren’t comfortable talking to friends or family about it.
The predators’ victims might also be:
have low self esteem.
Our profile of a victim describes many children. Cyber predators aren’t picky about who they choose. They’re just looking for someone vulnerable. Help your children build their defenses.