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The 17 Lures Predators May Use to Exploit Children

1. The Affection Lure
Most children are abused by someone they know and trust. Pedophiles exploit these relationships and are experts at taking advantage of normal tensions between teenagers and parents as well as youngsters who face issues at home like divorce, substance abuse or neglect.

2. The Pet Lure
Children love animals and may be asked to help look for a “lost puppy.” Remind children, “There is no lost puppy!”

3. The Assistance Lure
This appeals to the helpful nature of children when predators ask them for directions or a helping hand. Tell children that, generally speaking, adults should ask other adults for help. The best defense against this lure is pretending not to hear, then quickly leaving the area.

4. The Authority Lure
Pedophiles take advantage of their positions as coach, clergy, scout leader, relative, etc. to intimidate or force youngsters into abuse or worse. Stress that it is illegal for any adult to touch a child in the Bathing Suit Zone.

5. The Bribery Lure
Children are offered candy, toys, CDs, drugs, money, etc. to persuade them to go willingly with a potential abductor or as a reward for tolerating abuse or keeping it secret.

6. Ego / Fame
Youngsters are offered an immediate audition or private tryout and told to keep it a secret from parents.

7. Emergency
By faking a crisis, predators trick youngsters into going with them willingly. Example: “Your mother was in a car accident and has been taken to the hospital! I was sent to take you to her.”

8. Fun & Games
Games that include the use of handcuffs, ropes, duct tape or other restraints prevent children from protecting themselves or escaping. Advise children not to participate in these “games.”

9. The Hero Lure
Predators exploit their “hero” status, or individuals they admire like favorite teachers, coaches, relatives or local celebrities, to abuse youngsters. Children may endure repeated abuse in order to maintain the “friendship” or keep their hero out of trouble.

10. The Job Lure
The offer of a high-paying, interesting or fun job may be just a trick to abuse or abduct children and particularly college students. Phony interviews are often scheduled in secluded locations or advertised with only a post office box.

11. The Name Recognition Lure
Well-meaning parents often mark backpacks, clothing and other belongings with nametags. Predators call the child by name, creating a false sense of familiarity and trust.

12. The Playmate / Companion Lure
Pedophiles may lure youngsters to their home with a party atmosphere, providing toys, sports equipment, use of a swimming pool, etc. They may promote an “anything goes” attitude that can be very attractive to adolescents.

13. The Threats & Weapons Lure
Predators may blackmail or threaten youngsters into cooperation or silence. “It’s my word against yours, and who’s going to believe a little kid?”

14. The Pornography Lure
Pedophiles routinely introduce pornography to set the stage for abuse. Children of all ages are curious about sex, and it is not difficult to hold their attention with this material.

15. The Computer / Online Lure
Predators successfully lure children through the use of anonymous chat-rooms and e-mail to learn a child’s personal information and to arrange private, in-person meetings.

16. The Drugs Lure
Drugs, especially alcohol, can be used to incapacitate, seduce or lure youngsters into abuse. Keeping a clear head at all times is critical to a child’s safety.

17. The Hate & Violence Lure
This lure results in untold bullying and harassment in schools across America. Repeated cruel, belittling or sexual comments can have a profound effect on sensitive youngsters, sometimes leaving deep scars.

** It is important to note that combinations of these lures can be used at the same time.  For additional information on the Child Lures Prevention Program, please contact Kathleen Nowosadko, Director of the Office of Environment for the Archdiocese of Hartford, at 860-541-6491 or visit.

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