Paedophiles need 3 conditions in order for them to sexually abuse a child:

1.          Opportunity—the opportunity to take a child away, or abuse a child when left alone with him or her.

2. Privacy—the situation where the paedophile is alone with the child—either through permission from the parent or care-givers; or by snatching the child.

3. Control—the physical power over the child, and/or the fear it instills in the child before, during and after sexual abuse.


   Without these 3 conditions, fewer children may be sexually abused, raped and/or murdered.

It is the responsibility of every parent/care-giver to ensure that these 3 conditions are removed from paedophiles.


   We need to ensure that we do not create opportunities for child sexual predators where they have privacy to sexually assault our children; and that we do not hand over control to them.


   Child sexual offenders tell us that their offending is neither accidental or co-incidental.

   They carefully choose which children to abuse and which to not by means of 2 criteria—availability and        



   Paedophilia is not a curable condition. They cannot be rehabilitated.


   What is the motivation of a child sexual predator?

   There are 3 main categories of motivation for people to sexually abuse children. They are the following:

1.          Men and women who are attracted to children sexually. They receive sexual gratification by their actions.

2.          Men and women who hurt children because their motivation is more an issue of power than of   sexual              desire.

3.          Men and women who hurt our children through pornography and child prostitution because they seek              financial gain.


   Adults who are sexually attracted to children are placed into 3 categories [Krafft-Ebing]:

1. Paedophile.

2. Surrogate—that is, the pre-pubescent youths are regarded as a substitute object for a preferred, non-available adult object.

3.          Sadistic


   Further conditions are necessary for someone to sexually abuse a child. [David Finkelhor 1994]

             The offender must :

1. Have some inclination or predisposition towards sexual contact with children.

2. Be able to overcome their own inhibitions, beliefs, morals, etc which might otherwise prevent him from offending. He must be able to justify his behaviour to himself in some way.

3. Be able to overcome the victim’s resistance to the abuse. This might be either by force, bribery, trick or treat, or by means of grooming, seducing or charming the child into sexual contact.

4. Have the opportunity to offend.


   It is important for each of us to understand these basic concepts about paedophiles. This may enable us to prevent situations or avoid behaviours that may risk the innocence of our children.


© Norah Papanicolaou


Who are paedophiles?