How to Avoid Predators

There are unidentified predatory people around us on a daily basis. Whilst few of us have to worry about actual predators of human beings such as sharks, tigers or bears, we all need to learn to avoid predatory people and take action when any situation develops into a real problem. Here are some ways to protect yourself and be informed about the dangers of predatory people.


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    Don't fall for their charm. 'Predators' can be very nice, friendly people, especially to children. If someone is continually trying to get you alone, or to isolate you from your friends or family, there is something wrong there. Just politely decline and carry on. If they continue asking you, then you should call the police. These people often make light or make "games" of inappropriate touching:
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    Look for warning signs. A stereotypical preparatory behaviour is someone who touches a young girl around the breast area or any child around the crotch. They might then laugh or giggle, saying, "Oops! Did I get you?" If it's innocent, that would be the end of it. If it's more sinister, then it would happen again, probably very quickly, and could be something like: "Oops - did it again! Did I get you there?" accompanied by a touch in a sensitive place. He or she may even brazenly ask if you "liked that." Your Red Alert should be going off by then, but sometimes you tell yourself, "Oh, it was an accident," or "He's just playing a game." He's not - at least not any game you should be playing.
    • The predator might pat you first, and then if you laughed or said it was okay after they said they were sorry, they might either pat you again, or try stroking a private part, or even putting their hand there and leaving it until you push it away - and the next thing you know, there's a hand in your crotch, or trying to make its way down your pants or up your blouse.
    • A predator may even be quite brazen. One case had a young girl sitting on the bench seat of a pickup truck between her father (driving) and her father's friend (in the passenger seat). The friend slung his arm around the girl, and though it seemed friendly, he was fitting his hand in between her arm and her breast. He never made an overt move, but she felt his fingers feeling around there on the side of her breast for long minutes. She never made a sound or alerted her dad, who was sitting right next to her. She believed that her dad would get mad at his friend and it would be her fault.
    • Repeat: A predator counts on you to keep your mouth shut. When this girl told her dad about it years later, her dad confessed that he felt something was wrong, but couldn't put his finger on it - he would have stopped the car, put the so-called friend out on the road, and driven straight to the police station to file a report against him. Again, continued attempts to touch you, hold you on his or her lap, or to try to get you away from others should trigger your concern. By the way: this predator continued molesting his adopted daughter for many years and was not discovered until he had molested several other girls as well.
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    Observe their actions, be aware of their movements. If this person appears to constantly be following/stalking you, it should be reported. It's a very short step from stalking to escalating to other, more harmful behaviors, such as a sexual attack.
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    Take action if you suspect you are dealing with a predator:
    • Tell someone you trust. This step is importance and urgency cannot be overstated - predators depend on your silence. They count on you to keep your suspicions to yourself because you don't want to embarrass anyone, including yourself. If you aren't sure, but are suspicious, tell a trusted adult family member, friend, or teacher, even if it's just to alert them to keep an eye on this person, too.
    • Each time he or she seems suspicious in any way, and the behavior exhibited alarms you, mention it to a trusted adult or an authority. They might help protect you or report it.
    • If this isn't the case or if it doesn't work, then avoid the predator whenever possible. Get to know their schedule, favorite places, and how they usually get there. Find alternatives to these locations/routes for you to follow and refrain from telling him or her about them and where you're going.
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    Be prepared if he or she gets any of your contact or personal information, to change it. Examples: Change your email address, change your number, etc. If he finds something more serious such as your address, then be sure to keep windows shut/latched, and doors locked. Turn off lights and close blinds/curtains at night. If you remain nervous, consider moving - no forwarding address. Give the address only to your trusted friends and family, and make sure they know they are not to share it without your express permission because you are attempting to evade someone who has been stalking you.
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    Confront or avoid him/her altogether. If you continue to feel suspicious or uneasy, but the behavior does not escalate, and you can find no proof to bear out your concerns, talk to this person if you feel brave. Tell him or her, "You know, you have this thing you do that makes me feel kind of creepy. What's that about?" There may be a reasonable explanation. If the explanation sets you easier about it, perhaps it will help settle the matter. If you are not interested in explanations, take steps to actively avoid running into this person in the future.


  • Learn self-defense. This might come in handy in any case, but certainly, you will be glad if this person makes a frightening move on you.
  • Always keep an emergency number or alternative on speed dial (cell phone and home phone). This way if you're caught alone with them and they attempt something dangerous, you can always call.
  • Predators are often charming and friendly - at first. They are likable and make things sound reasonable when they are really wrong. They succeed by talking young people who don't recognize them as predators into doing things, or letting things be done. If your alarms are going off, stop, make them stop, or better yet - run away. Don't feel you owe that person any explanations - just leave. And tell.
  • Predators are looking for prey. The less you look like prey, the better off you are. Remember that predators operate best in a climate of fear and silence - the more afraid their marks are, the more they are able to dominate and control them. If someone touches you inappropriately, or after you have told them privately not to, yell. Say it out loud: "Hey! I asked you not to touch me, and now I'm telling you. Keep your hands off me." Rehearse this when you are alone and if you can with trusted friends or family. It will make it easier to do this when you need to. If something doesn't feel right to you, you need to say something or get away from the situation. When you do speak make sure others hear you, you want people to look at you. The last thing a predator wants is to have others looking at him or her and identifying him as dangerous. Sometime a predator will get very angry at you for saying that you don't feel comfortable with there behavior. This is a sure sign that you need to get away quickly. Because if you tell an honorable person that you are uncomfortable with their behavior, they would stop it and say they were sorry. It is important to recognize the difference between good and bad behavior. Predator are masters at manipulating people and situations. Don't get caught in their web. You cannot trust a predator.
  • Tell someone of your concerns! - do not wait, just tell a friend or some person you trust. If something should happen, that friend will know where to start looking for answers.


  • Be careful when you're talking to the predator or people who know them. You might accidentally reveal details about your life that they could use against you.
  • Predators often start small and seemingly innocently, and then work their way up to more "advanced" behaviors. In fact, you may not be certain anything really happened that was wrong - here's the tip off: Any time someone tells you that what they did or tried to do to is "a secret," or worse, warns you or threatens to harm you or your family members if you tell anyone, that is a sure sign that what they are up to is wrong. Remember: they want you to keep quiet. Don't.
  • Predators also develop friendships with targeted families and have kid friendly homes with extras that attract kids to come and play, maybe a swing set or a cute puppy or kitten, yet may not have kids of their own.
  • All this said, do be careful not to see "demons under every rock." Some people who have kid-friendly homes though they don't have kids of their own, and seem nice and kindly toward kids are just that - they're nice people who love kids and have no kids of their own. Watching for real clues and behaviors that add up to suspicion and wariness is one thing, but seeing monsters where they don't exist is paranoia. Remember what your local police say: Predators are like being struck by lightning. They are dangerous, but relatively rare. Good people who will help you are like sunny days - there are lots more of them than there are lightning strikes. Be careful, but don't succumb to the temptation to become paranoid. Practice with your children what good trusting behavior is. Act them out it can be fun. Give your child permission to leave a situation that does not feel right. Predators love catching you off guard. They are counting on you not knowing what is going on. Rehearse what good behavior looks and feels like. If it doesn't feel right have a plan of action. A meeting place, or a phone call with key words. Being safe is fun and shows a child what healthy love feels like.

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Categories: Self Defense