"Target hardening" RE: [SCA-AE] ANNOUNCE: Background check FAQ
ladyren at gmail.com
Fri Apr 13 08:45:13 EDT 2007
The object of target hardening is not to point out to your children
who is questionable and who is not, but to make your child not a
"viable target" to a predator. That is where parental involvement is
key. The vast majority of child sexual offenders search out children
who feel disconnected, who have few social ties and who feel outcast.
They then start "grooming" the child by integrating their self into
the child's life, making the child feel that they, the offender, are
the child's sole support in the world. Then they begin to normalize
the activities that lead to actual sexual offenses. (All in a
This is why parental involvement is so important. If your children
know that they are truly valued by you and that they are monitored by
you, the opportunities for grooming to occur become virtually
non-existent. There are, of course, a handful of cases that have
differed from the normal patterning, but this is how the majority of
child sexual offenses take place.
Contrary to much of what has been said, someone who is trolling for
the "outcast" child *will* take on positions of responsibility within
organizations, such as religious youth club leaders, scout activity
leaders, etc. simply because this puts them in a place where they have
a modicum of authority over the child, which in turn validates their
right to act as the child's sole support system. However, after a
conviction, the offender will turn to other methods of seeking out
In the end, I am guessing that I am way off topic : ) To sum up and
step off the soapbox, just monitor your children, keep an open dialog
with them, make certain that they know you love them and care and you
will have severely limited their chances of being a victim.
Renata the posh rot
On 4/12/07, KaziBrionSCA <KaziBrionSCA at worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> Are there any good ways to harden the target while keeping the target feel
> It would be rather interesting to have a class or a discussion group on the
> subject at some upcoming large event, with professionals in the field giving
> us ideas, things to look for, etc.
> We want our kids to feel safe. We want to make the SCA a good experience
> for them. It is difficult to talk to the kids about these things sometimes.
> I find I lack appropriate words about "what might happen". These topics are
> hard. Talking about "stranger danger" is relatively easy, because we tell
> the kids that some anonymous strangers might do them harm. However, telling
> them a known person might do them harm amounts to generally accusing our
> fellow SCAdians. Kids are very "black-and-white" in their reasoning, at
> certain ages. I can tell our 11 year old that I want her to keep away from
> a known person because "I don't feel comfortable with her values", and we
> may discuss that, and she will keep the information confidential. If I tell
> our 5-year old the same thing, next time she will see that person she will
> say, "My mom wants me to keep away from you because she doesn't like your
> values." AAARRRGH! (Yes, I read up on these things, but a magazine article
> will tell you only so much).
> I would really welcome if somebody with a background in school counseling or
> police work or other related area would consider talking to the *parents* on
> how to better protect their kids using "target hardening", in and out of the
> SCA, without making the kids a walking advertisement on whom we won't
> associate with. Sigh.
> Kazi - often outsmarted by her daughters :-)
O Lord, help me to be pure... but not yet. -Saint Augustine
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