I was raped at 9 and molested from the ages of 9 through 14, and
because of that, I’ve always wanted to be able to sit down and
talk to a group of child molesters and ask them why and how
they do what they do.
It’s the most honest conversations I’ve ever had with sex offenders.
– Oprah Winfrey
Do these guys look like child molesters? They are. This is what Oprah wants you to know:
90% of child molesters know their victims.
We’re talking about family friends, uncles fathers, brothers and neighbors. Less than 10% of molesters are the strangers who are abducting kids who you see on the news.
The greatest misconception about child molesters is that they look like creepy guys in long, black trench coats that drive a van with covered windows. They are often people who others have trusted and would swear it could not be that person.
Molesters don’t choose their victims at random.
They seek out vulnerable children, gain their trust and seduce them. It’s all very calculated, and it’s all very deliberate. Without trust. . .the sexual abuse is not possible. Trust is the number one factor they need to succeed.
Oprah’s guest was Dawn Horwitz-Person who treats child molesters and their victims. She said:
I can help [victims] work through processes, grooming, the time put into planning, etc. When they understand how they were set up and how much time and effort was put into the planning of their offense, they are better able to let go of the shame and blame that victims often feel.
David, one of the molesters Oprah interviewed confessed he was able to seduce and rape a relative who was neglected by her parents:
I was the only one there in her world who would listen to her, who would validate her. That gave me such power over her.
Molesters manipulate their victims to make it feel good.
That confuses the child into blaming themselves when it’s never the victim’s fault. The “grooming” process starts early ~ it’s subtle.
Lee, the grandfather on the left of the photo, offers advice for parents:
Open your eyes. See what’s happening. If you notice someone who spends more time with the children than the adults, it’s a red flag.
Darren, who molested his daughter, admitted:
Kids don’t lie. They’ll be dismised because [adults] believe the adult instead of the child. Listen to the children.
If you have experienced incest or sexual molestation, tell someone.
If they don’t believe you, keep telling until somebody does. Molesters do not want you to talk. Tell somebody today.
Ms. Horwitz-Person acknowledged focusing on counseling for people who experience sexual abuse won’t stop it:
It is like the river scenario where the offenders are upstream throwing victims down the river and all the therapists, social workers, etc. who are downstream are pulling victims out of the river. That does nothing to stop the problem.
She decided to start working with offenders because then she could get to the root of the problem and stop it.
You can watch Oprah’s two-hour conversation on her web site.