Ruse: a trick or act that is used to fool someone
Predators must have a ruse in order to accomplish their goals. They must fool not only the child they eventually abuse. The predator must also fool those who are in charge of the child’s care, most often parents. They use a ruse to commit the evil that they do. Although there are several methods that can be used as a ruse the most common ones can be boiled down to two types of technique often used in combination, deception and empathy.
Parents and children fall victim to deception when a predator has a legitimate reason to be near a child but has other intentions. A family gathering where an extended family member has a legitimate reason to be present can provide access to a child that they would not normally have access to. The parental line of defense has now been handled, now the predator only needs to deceive the child. At this point usually the predator begins to find ways of being alone with the child so they can begin to gradually cross boundaries. After several boundaries have been crossed to the point that the child appears to be fine with the redefinition of the relationship. It is at that point that a predatory individual will move the boundary of the previous normal with the child. There will be some reason that a predator will provide for the new amount of touch. This can occur over several family gatherings or all at once depending on the child and the predator’s skill and aggressiveness.
Predators often use empathy to get past parental suspicion. Any type of life situation can be employed to get people, especially family, to feel sorry for them therefore a higher tolerance for indiscretions. Personal situations such as employment, weight, health condition, rough childhood, marital status, and financial situation can be used to have adults around them excuse perceived indiscretions. These situations are also used to gain allies in the event that a predator is caught and is under threat of prosecution. In an extended family situation there will often be those who will side with the predator because of the empathy that they have for the predator’s situation. In essence the predator gains license for their behavior because of whatever reason that their allies feel sorry for them. These allies then pressure those who believe the predator should be turned in to not doing so. This is likely one significant reason behind child molestation being one of the most underreported crimes in the U.S. today.
Looking at the application of the ruse, it does not take much time to determine that appropriate boundaries should be set for every individual in your child’s life. There are those based on their role who have no reason to have any time alone with your child. There are others that should so long as they have been found trustworthy and honest. The closer the relationship with the parent, the more likely the parent is to have their guard down. One should never let their guard down. If anything occurs that causes you to believe that you should change the amount of access anyone has to your child, trust your instinct.