WARNING – SEXUAL PREDATORS
Now this is an article that everyone must read, especially if you’re a parent, the threat from sexual predators is very, very real whoever you are and wherever you are. Regularly there are stories in the media of men in influential positions who have used their influence and connections to facilitate and cover up sexual assaults on women, men and children. This is something that has been going on since the beginning of time, but due to today’s awareness of such crimes and the ability for them to be easily reported to police it is making life a lot harder for the predators and more difficult to stay under the radar.
Sexual predators come from all walks of life be it the politician, the Hollywood film producer, the local priest, the school teacher or the apparently nice man that hangs around the children’s play area at your local park. You must always be assessing others and questioning their motivations, some of you may say this is extreme and paranoid, which is fine by me, ultimately your personal safety and that of your family are none of my business, I write, I advise and thank you for reading my work… Hopefully you won’t be reading about yourself or your family in one of my future articles or books, if you are then thank you for giving me the content!
Now a lady I know well told me about an incident that happened to her recently that caught her off guard. To start with she is a well-traveled woman and a lot sharper than most… She needed to pick up some documents from an associate of hers, so they agreed to meet half way. That day a bad South Florida thunder storm had caused a power outage at her home and she took her phone charger with her as the battery was low.
She was going to meet her associate at a “Krispy Kreme” coffee and doughnut shop just off I-95, a main highway in suburban South Florida. The lady was dressed very casually as she had rushed out and when she got to the coffee shop she grabbed a coffee, sat at a table and plugged in her phone to charge.
After being there a few minutes a well-dressed, well-spoken man approached her, and started to make small talk, she engaged him politely. She remembers saying something about being glad to be able to charge the phone since there was no power at home and the man responded by offering to pay her phone and electricity bills if she would come back to his hotel with him… Caught off balance, she explained she had no power due an outage and she could pay her own bills, thank you… The man left…
This was the classic behavior of a sexual predator who had most probably done this many times before. He chose the location, a coffee shop off a major highway, because this would be a place where vagrants, hitchhikers and those traveling would hangout looking for a ride. The fact the lady was dressed down, by herself and charging her phone made her fit his profile of a victim… Someone in need… The fact he left straight away after being rebuffed means he was wise enough to leave before the police were possibly called.
When the lady spoke to me about the incident things were still sinking in and she was shocked and bewildered. Now she understands the true nature of this encounter and it’s opened her eyes to a world she never knew existed…
Many a time I’ve seen parents drop off their teenage children to do their homework together or socialize at Starbucks Coffee shops in my local area. Starbucks has free Wi-Fi, is usually clean and attracts a mix of professional and student types as clientele, so it’s an apparently safe environment. What I have noticed on several occasions is older men who will go out of their way to approach girls in school uniforms to strike up a conversation… To me, this is odd as there are usually plenty of others to talk to, in their age range and younger, usually an attractive woman or two sitting alone or with friends… So, why approach these school girls? All I can say is if those were my daughters I would be concerned about the men’s motives.
Even in such apparently safe environments you must educate your children what to do if they are approached by a stranger, the men could be asking an honest question, or they could be trying to open an opportunity for grooming. Your children should know to never give their contact details to strangers be it phone numbers or Facebook profile addresses etc. They also have to be careful who is watching them and who can see what they are looking at on their computers or phones. Just by sitting behind someone who is on their computer in a coffee shop you can see who they are talking to and the details of their social media profiles. A pedophile only needs the name on your child’s Facebook account to be able to start trying to make contact and start grooming.
If they are being pestered or harassed by someone they should know to call or message you or report the person to the staff at the location they are in. They should never leave the location or go to the bathroom alone if they are uncomfortable with someone watching them or acting strangely. Again, this is basic common sense, but children need to be made aware!
In the 1990’s when I was working in London the hotels always had a problem with perverts and sexual predators cruising for victims and using the toilets that were open to the public as places to have sex. One hotel in particular, just off Piccadilly Circus, was renowned as pick up location for rent boys (male prostitutes). I have too many stories from my time in London working as a freelance bouncer, hotel & VIP event security and bodyguard but I chose a couple of incidents from that hotel and will highlight a few things for you to consider.
I remember one incident where my colleague and I spotted some kids, two boys and a girl, in the games room, with beer bottles on their table. They must have been in their early teens and clearly well under the legal drinking age. The girl was the oldest of the group, maybe 14 and wearing a lot of makeup… When we approached them a man whom we did not see as he was slouching in a chair behind them told us they were OK as they were with him… OK, but he was drunk, he had a British accent and the kids were German, they were staying in the hotel and he was not… And let’s not forget they had beers in front of them…
To make a long story short, the man was detained, and the kids’ parents located. When the man realized the police had been called he needed to be restrained, after the police arrived, took him to hospital and worked out his identity, they called us back to let us know he had arrest warrants and we should not be seeing him for a while. In the meantime, the kids’ parents were in disbelief as to what had just happened, they had been in a coffee shop outside the games room, in the hotel foyer, they though their kids were safe and just playing the video games, they also did not realize the games room had an entrance from the street.
One of the big problems with that hotel, as there is with many, was poor management and the focus being on filling rooms with little consideration for guest security. I was freelance working on an as needed basis, so their policies and procedures were not my concern or business. I remember being there several times when they had large school groups in residence, I am talking pre-teens and early teens, and instead of having them in adjoining rooms on the same floor they had them spread out throughout the hotel. The hotel at that time had no en-suite bathrooms just communal ones at the ends of the hallways. So, there was an issue with children wandering around the corridors at all hours looking either for the bathrooms or their friends.
You cannot blame the kids’ teachers or the trip organizers for the risks to the children, instead of rooms being set aside for them the booking staff had just assigned them what rooms they had available when they turned up. The teachers did not realize the situation until they arrived, until security contacted them with a request to tell the children not to wander around the floors, not to answer the doors to strangers etc. because they were in “pervert central”. Of course, the security team was never informed of school group arrivals and our first indicator was unattended children wandering around… So, if you’re a parent and your kids are going on a school trip make sure you do your research on where they are staying and ensure nothing is left to chance!
I can say from my experience of dealing with London’s perverts, freaks and hookers that many do not fit the stereotype. Quite a few times did we have to escort the tweed jacketed country gents or the sharp suited city gents from a hotel or event due to their highly questionable behavior, usually in the public restrooms… So, never let someone’s appearance and social status deceive you to their intentions. I always tell my clients never allow yourself to be put in a situation where you can be taken advantage of, assaulted physically or raped. Also, never allow others to put you in such a situation…
One story that comes to mind is of another lady I know who is an artist and was put in a very questionable situation while trying to repossess some of her art work from an art dealer. She had given this art dealer over $100K’s worth of art to sell for a $15k retainer. When the dealer was not selling the pieces, the artist wanted the works back and the BS began.
The artist whom I have known for years had already complained the art dealer had made inappropriate sexual advances towards her but being a former professional model, she put it down as being part of doing business with wealthy older men. Anyway, she managed to strike an agreement with the art dealer via a Florida attorney friend of his who was just as sleazy…
When the time came for her to go pick up the paintings from the home of the art dealer in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia she asked me to go with her as she was not comfortable with the situations and rightly so. The pickup had been arranged by the Florida attorney and neither he nor the art dealer knew she was taking me with her.
When we arrived at the dealer’s house it was clear that he and his helper were surprised and not particularly happy to see that the artist had brought me along. Even though the pickup had been arranged for days none of the paintings had been taken out of the house or prepared for the move. Anyhow, the paintings were loaded into our van and we left, job done.
Now, was that a situation, with the known background, a situation where this lady should have gone by herself… NO WAY! She would have been in an isolated area, with a man who had made sexual advances towards her and who she was now in a business dispute with. Why the paintings were not ready to move and what the art dealer’s intentions were for that day, who knows, maybe my opinion of humanity in general is very low but it’s not usually wrong…
So, never put yourself in situations where you will be vulnerable, never put yourself in situations with people you are uncomfortable with, never put yourself in situations where you could be raped or sexually assaulted and this applies to everyone, male and female. Parents must always know where their children are and who they are with and they should only be left alone with those you can trust with your own life!
Hopefully from this short article you can see the threat from sexual predators is very real and something that can be encountered by everyone. Education is your best defense, educate yourself and your children to do everything possible to avoid sexual predators and potentially hostile situations.