In our comprehensive online Course, “Child Abuse - Recognition and Prevention”, we at Police Science Institute first address the key question … what are the primary processes, procedures and investigative methodologies involved in attempting to accurately “profile” a child abuser? The fact remains, the classification of “child abusers” can encompass a very vast and highly diverse segment of society. Such persons may derive from either gender, from virtually any “socio-economic” background, from any age group, and, from any societal segment regardless of status or position.
This fact alone gives constructive difficulty to family, friends, teachers, medical personnel and law enforcement alike in being able to quickly identify, assess and take action against “abusers”. The process is difficult, complicated and requires certain expertise in order to create constructive results in the protection of the child. And, that expertise involves a careful, thoughtful and professional application of “offender dynamics” in order to mitigate victimization.
While many people summarily assume that a “child abuser” is always a vagrant, middle-aged male with no doubt a criminal history and lacking education, any such pre-judgment will most likely be incorrect in all respects. The reality exists that there is no “set-in-granite” profile to be attributed to all abusers, but instead, each abuser will invariably maintain his / her own, unique and case-specific attributes, including cultural, ethnic and other similar factors … thereby resulting in similarly unique and case-specific profiles.
Unfortunately, the further reality exists that attempting to profile a child abuser is as problematic and complex as attempting to identify a child-victim. Matters pertaining to unique issues involving type(s) of employment (or none), the personal financial situation, the social environment, and, “family dynamics” (to mention only a few) may or may not have substantial impact upon the entire profiling process. It must be a “case-by-case” determination.
Whether the child abuser comes from within the victim’s family dynamic, or, emerges as a complete stranger, the “constant / norm” exists that abusers are intent on preying upon the child-victim’s vulnerability, naïve faculties, and, realistic inability to offer up a constructive defense against such behavior. The “rule of thumb” is very simple … a child is NOT “responsible” for true abuses inflicted upon him or her by anyone at any time.