Katie Couric: Keeping Children Safe From Abuse
Jim Clemente, a former lead profiler for child abuse crimes and the inspiration for one of the characters on Criminal Minds, was on Katie to go over the best ways parents can protect their children but first Katie Couric wanted to know what he, as a professional, thought of Jerry Sandusky.
Clemente said Sandusky was in the top one percent of child offenders and he is one of the worst kinds because it is hidden. Clemente said parents often tell children not to talk to strangers, but Sandusky was the type of adult you would trust your child with because he was very apt at grooming the child, the parent and the community.
The Katie Couric Show: Jim Clemente Grooming Victims
Clemente explained grooming is a bunch of innocent behavior that creates a bond between a young child and an older adult. It also creates a trusted relationship between the assailant and the parents of the child. In the case of Sandusky, he started a foundation to help children because it helped him look like a reputable person.
He would then test the boundaries of the children. He would put a hand on their leg then take them on a trip then let them spend the night and so on until the child felt comfortable with him. He made the acts look innocent so if he did get caught, no one would be suspicious said Clemente.
Katie: Openly Discuss Abuse with Your Children
Clemente said the perpetrator is usually able to get away with the act because the child feels as if it is their fault. By not talking with your child, you are not opening the lines of communication and your child may be scared to talk about certain issues.
Clemente also said it is important to act calmly if something does come up. Clemente said children usually use incremental disclosure when talking with adults. They tell a little at a time trying to test how far they can go before they get in trouble. Clemente suggested talking with your child about all issues and when something comes up, to act calmly and let the child know it is not their fault.
Looking for red flags is also a proactive way to keep a child safe. Clemente pointed out a big red flag is an adult who likes being with children more than he likes the company of adults. He pointed out if someone likes being with your child more than you do, that is a big red flag.