Authority Lure

Rightly so, children are taught to respect and obey adults. Pedophiles take advantage of their positions of authority as coach, clergy, scout leader, relative, etc. to intimidate or force youngsters into abuse or worse.

Some predators go so far as to pose as detectives, police or truant officers. They may use badges and uniforms or attach flashing lights to a vehicle to appear real. Youngsters, especially teenagers, are intimidated when accused of shoplifting or other crimes.

Give children permission to say "No" to authority figures when necessary. Stress that it is illegal for any adult, even a family member, police officer or clergy member, to touch a child in the Bathing Suit Zone.

If confronted by someone claiming to be with law enforcement, youngsters should insist on a uniformed police officer in a marked car. Warn children to be extra cautious if they are accused of a crime but have done nothing wrong. Youngsters should never leave a public area against their better judgment.

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