Having been a defense attorney for 42 years, I have represented many adults and juveniles accused of sexual offenses. Anyone, either a minor or an adult, charged with committing sex offenses against minors can suffer lifelong negative consequences.
In most cases the juvenile has been exposed to pornography. They have viewed it on a smart phone, a computer, a TV, or a friend has given them a disk. No matter how good a son or daughter you have, the first time they have seen pornography the idea is planted in their minds to experience some form of sexual behavior. A small minority of kids have been the victims of sexual misconduct and they experienced their first sexual encounter as victims.
The idea to commit sexual misconduct does not just come out of the blue. They will want to experiment. Many fine young boys from good families will experiment with younger minors they have access to. They think they can get away with their improper touching without others knowing about it. The victims are usually someone they know and have access to. It is not just boys who do this. Girls do it as well.
How do parents enable their sons/daughters to become sex offenders?
1. They provide them access to pornography. You would be aghast if you read that a parent was permitting their child or teenager to visit an adult bookstore. You do just that when you provide them with a smart phone. I can guarantee that your teenager will soon figure out how to bypass any parental controls you might place on it. Do they have the Snapchat app on their phone? Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app for smart phones. Google the name and you will find articles detailing how teenagers regularly use this app to send naked photos to others. Snapchat is well aware this is going on. Snapchat is not the only app teenagers use to transmit pornography. But doesn’t Snapchat delete the photo after ten seconds? A screen shot of the sext photo can be taken, saved and distributed over the internet.
Most TV owners who have access to premium channels will have access to pornography. You can see adults at times on these channels having simulated sex before a lot of teenagers go to bed. You might believe that your teenager does not see it but if you and the adults in the home view it, it is just a matter of time before your teenagers view it as well.
What about computers and viewing pornography on your computers? Does your teenager have access to a computer that has internet access? If the computer has internet access, the chances are great your teenager can figure out how to get around any parental controls and view pornography. I know of parents who have put parental controls on their computers but not on their smart phones.
2. Most adults who work for business or government entities must take yearly sexual harassment training. It is stressed that if you engage in sexual harassment, dire consequences will occur. Your child does not take yearly sexual harassment training.
When did you last have a conversation with your children or teenagers about not viewing pornography and not engaging in risky sexual behaviors. I have represented 10-year-olds charged with sexual abuse of younger minors. The victims in a number of these cases were 2 years and older. When was the last time you spoke with your 4-5-year-old about good touch/bad touch and to tell Mommy or Daddy if anyone ever gives you a bad touch? Do you do so yearly?
Do you want your child/teenager to be arrested/charged with sexual offenses towards children? What about their being labeled a sex offender and possibly being having to register as a sex offender? Do you want them being suspended or expelled from school for sexual misconduct?
3. Be observant. Boys and girls playing in their bedrooms out of the sight of adults can quickly start engaging in risky sexual behavior. Very often the young girl will go along with what the older boy is doing sexually and not tell a parent. Eventually they will disclose. Sexual misconduct occurs frequently between siblings, step-siblings, cousins, and neighbors.
The child or teenage offender can suffer lifelong consequences resulting from being charged with engaging in lewd and lascivious conduct with minors. Do not let this happen to your child or teenager. Please review prior blogs I have written on this subject. Teen Sexing; Sex Between Minors; Minors Can and Do Commit Sexual Abuse; The Most Dangerous Gift A Cell Phone; What if Your Child Has Been Accused of Sexual Misbehavior with a Minor Under 14 or If Your Child is a Victim of Sexual Misbehavior; Causes of Juvenile Suspensions Expulsions, and Criminal Charges; Ways to Protect Your Minors from Being Sexually Abused, and Increased Punishment of Sex Offenses by Juveniles.