7 Tactics a Child Predator Uses to Lure Kids: Red Flag Phrases Every Parent Needs to Know

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Protect Young Minds .

by Kimberly King Apr 14, 2020

This is written by Kimberly King, an award-winning author, teacher, and authority on the subject of sexual abuse prevention.

As parents, we all want to keep our kids safe from harm. We teach our kids to wash their hands, cover their mouths, buckle up the seat belts, and always wear a helmet when riding a bike. 

Sexual abuse prevention is a bit more complicated than that. 

The good news is that with investing a minimal amount of time in sexual abuse prevention education, parents and kids can be empowered. Learning about sexual abuse prevention can help parents protect their kids immediately. 

Abusers have specialized methods to choose and manipulate victims through a variety of techniques and tricks. They try to gain the trust of the child and family first and eventually move toward “grooming.” 

Learning about the tactics and tricks child predators use will help parents be more aware. Here are some red flag phrases and tactics abusers may use.

1. “Can you keep a secret?”


Sexual abuse thrives under layers of secrets. If your child hears this phrase from an adult, it is a HUGE red flag. 

A skilled abuser may first ask a child to keep a secret that seems innocent, saying things like

  • “Let’s keep this treat our little secret.”
  • “Don’t tell your mom we got ice cream before dinner.” 

These are small, benign secrets that seem harmless.

When confident the child has kept those types of secrets the abuser will move on to acts of sexual abuse, demanding secrecy about that behavior as well. At that point, the child may feel so guilty and ashamed that he or she feels they cannot tell. 

What you can do:

Tell young children that they must never keep secrets from their parents. 

2. “You’re my special friend.”


Abusers try to build up relationships with kids by promoting common interests. They also try to establish trust with kids by attempting to make children feel special or unique. An abuser will try to gain the affection of his or her intended victim by sharing these likes and things they have in common.

What you can do:

 A good rule of thumb to remember is that kids need age-appropriate friends, and adults need adult friends.

3. “Let’s spend some quality alone time together.”


A big red flag! Adults have adult friends, not “special” kid friends. Any activity that requires an adult to be alone with a child is not safe, especially overnights. Abusers try to normalize certain behaviors and lower inhibitions. So, a situation where a child must change clothing or do a sleepover is inherently risky. 

What you can do:

Implement the rule of three. This rule requires that there should always be at least three people present – one adult and two or more children, or two adults and one child.

4. “Does Somebody need a hug?”


Pats on the back, a hug to say goodbye– may be completely acceptable in many circumstances. Because of this, many predators seek careers where they have easy access to children. Be aware of your child’s reactions to other adults and comfort levels regarding physical affection.

What you can do:

Teach your children that if they ever feel uncomfortable about any physical contact, they need to tell you. Learn about consent and teach body autonomy to your little ones from an early age.

5. “Want to hear a dirty joke?”


An abuser can lure a child closer by using jokes and games. These may start “G” rated. But, soon lead to “dirty” jokes, showing children online pornography, or by introducing sexual games. 

What you can do:

If your child is old enough to have internet access, make sure you are monitoring email and social network messages. A predator may send explicit materials through social media apps. And may ask or demand inappropriate photos from your child. Kids can get easily trapped and scared in this predicament. 

Consider installing Apps like BARK to protect and monitor your child.

6. “Your parents don’t understand you. I know how you feel.”


Sometimes, kids can feel isolated or alone, especially during family duress. Separations, divorce, or other changes in family structure or location can make kids more vulnerable. 

Predators often target kids who feel isolated from their peers by using empathy. 

What you can do:

If your family does go through a stressful period, pay attention. A great family counselor can help get ahead of some of these issues.

7. “Your parents will never forgive you if they find out what we did, you didn’t say No!


A child is not able to give consent in a sexual relationship. The blame/ shame, control game is hard to handle. The predator will use a child’s confusion and fear as they attempt to maintain control over the victim.

What you can do:

Kids need to know that no matter how long any inappropriate contact or abuse has gone on, it is NEVER their fault, and you will always help, protect, and love them. 

A prepared child is less of a target. 

Parents have the immense responsibility of trying to protect their families from sexual abuse. The best way to add a layer of protection is to educate yourself and your kids about sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse can be prevented when parents learn the facts about sexual abuse and minimize the risks for the family. 

Link to Article



Embargo: Immediate release                                             Inquiries:     Doctors For Life Int.

Date:      19 June 2020                                                    Telephone:   032 481 5550

  • DA’s draft guidelines on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Public Schools unscientific
  • DFL made Submission to Adv. Lynn Coleridge-Zils
  • Pro-LGBT Johns Hopkins Science on LGBT issues | genetics, causation, discrimination.
  • Growing number of individuals regretting transitioning.
  • 5 counties in UK and 15 states in the USA working to withdraw either/and transgender bathroom bills, opposite sex sport participation and transgender surgery on minors

Doctors For Life (DFL) is deeply concerned for the youth of South Africa, especially since the Democratic Alliance (DA) has recently published draft guidelines on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Public Schools.[1] These guidelines suggest that boys and girls must be encouraged to believe that they can be “born in the wrong body with the wrong sex” and that boys and girls can “use whatever toilets and changing rooms they feel most comfortable using”. DFL has taken this opportunity to make a scientific submission to Lynn Coleridge-Zils along with examples of the mistakes made by other countries that we can learn from.

In a statement the American College of Pediatricians urged healthcare professionals, educators and legislators to “reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.” And outlined the following;

  1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: every single cell in a person’s body is either “XY” or “XX” which are genetic markers of being male or female, – not genetic markers of a disorder that needs to be changed through transgendering.
  2. A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.
  3. Rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ – affirming countries. What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?
  4. Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is mental molestation of children. [2]

Johns Hopkins University was the first Pro-LGBT medical center who pioneered sex-reassignment surgeries (SRS) on transgender individuals in 1960. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent mental distress and depression were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins they stopped doing SRS, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs. [3]

Sweden’s Karolinska Institute did a longitudinal study in 2011 of 30 years – following 324 trans people who had SRS. The results showed how 10 years after having the surgery, the transgender person experienced increasing mental difficulties. Most alarmingly, their suicide rate rose 2000% (!) compared to non-transgender populations. [3] LGBT groups tried attributing their suffering to discrimination and stigmatization but Johns Hopkins said, “There is evidence linking some forms of mistreatment, stigmatization, and discrimination to some of the poor mental health outcomes experienced by non-heterosexuals, but it is far from clear that these factors account for all of the disparities between the heterosexual and non-heterosexual populations. [4, page 85] Sweden is one of the most tolerant countries of LGBT and yet these problems persist within the community.

Johns Hopkins university went even further and published a report stating “Some of the most known views about sexual orientation, like the ‘born that way’ or ‘born in the wrong body’ hypothesis, simply are not supported by science.[4, page 7 & 8] Rather we should look at “developmental, environmental, experiential, social, or volitional factors…” [4, page 33]That will give a fuller picture of how sexual interests, attractions, and desires develop. As in many other studies, data shows associations between childhood sexual abuse or maltreatment and LGBT orientation, with the strongest associations being between sexual abuse and sexual identity. [4, page 49]

Some medical institutions have been pressured to abandon what is well known about homosexuality for decades in fear of being labelled “homophobic” or “transphobic”. Radical LGBT groups intimidate and label disagreeing parties in attempt to suppress the truth because the scientific evidence flies in the face of their false claims about being “born that way” and “born in the wrong body”. There is a growing number of experts who disagree and who base their opinions on sound science and genetics.

Last year December 200 people showed up for the world’s first gender de-transition conference in England. The sold-out event included a panel of medical and psychological health experts as well as young women who are “de-transitioning” from attempts to make them men. The event also marked the official launch of the De-transition Advocacy Network headed by Charlie Evans, 28, a woman who identified as a man for a decade. Evans decided to found the group to help the hundreds of young people she says have reached out to her after regretting their own experiments with hormonal treatments and surgeries. [5]

The Equalities Minister in the UK blasted a document containing LGBT guidelines for schools. The document asserted that schools have a legal and moral duty to embed LGBT teaching in the curriculum, and suggests that schools ignore the concerns of parents and carers who object. The LGBT guidelines document also told schools to ignore advice from groups such as Transgender Trend, A Woman’s Place UK and Fair Play for Women, because these groups do not fully endorse the affirmative approach to gender confusion. The LGBT guidelines document further made false claims that “refusing a child or young person access to the changing room or toilet of their gender identity would constitute an act of discrimination”. [6]

Hungary is another example where parliament voted 133 to 57 to ban transgender individuals from changing their gender/sex on identity documents. [7]

Currently six counties in the UK [8] and fifteen States in the USA [9] are working to withdraw transgender bills that allow children to use opposite sex toilets, changing facilities, and opposite sex sports participation. As well stop transgender surgery on minors under 18 years of age.

In closing we’d like to ask why the DA wants to initiate and experiment on the public and children of South Africa, when other countries have already experimented, and now show us the outcome that will follow?

Editors note: The downloadable version of our submission available here has been updated with a few minor changes after we sent it out to the media and our database.

New publication: Wake Up!

This incredible book was donated to Doctors For Life (DFL) as a gift by the Author(s) Arno Lamm and Emile-Andre Vanbeckevoort. DFL recommends this book and we are distributing it locally (i.e. South Africa) Free of charge to all who would like to have a copy.

More about the book:

For a copy of this book you can contact us on (032) 481 5550 or email us at [email protected]


Doctors For Life International (DFL) has been actively assisting the needy communities in South Africa during the Lock-down period. To date DFL have hand delivered essential parcels to about 1000 households in rural KwaZulu-Natal. These parcels contain 5 litre bottles of aQuelle spring water,  packs of 500ml aQuelle flavoured water, hand sanitisers and masks. It also includes COVID-19 info brochures translated to Zulu. The parcels are distributed by DFL volunteers and much time is taken in educating the families and children on hygiene and Coronavirus information. 

“It is a wonderful opportunity to show compassion to those struggling during this trying time.” said Johan Claassen, the program director for medical operations at DFL.  “The people are so thankful where-ever we go” he said.

DFL would like to thank aQuelle, Emseni farming, Medical Mission International (MMI) and DSS for their assistance and donations to help make these outreaches happen.

COVID-19 awareness

Parcels prepared to go out to the rural community

Handing out parcels to community


Doctors For Life International highly recommends that ALL South Africans now wear face masks in public. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention as well as the U.S. Government is officially recommending this.

We suggest that the public begin making their own cloth face masks to avoid draining health professional supplies in hospitals etc.

You can wash them daily with boiled water and a disinfectant such as JIK.

Need some help making a mask?

Visit this website to get some tips: CDC

COVID-19 & another population vulnerable to infection:

According to reports by The National Institutes on Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the populations most vulnerable to the coronavirus are individuals who smoke or vape marijuana, or have a history of smoking or vaping marijuana.

NIDA reports that “Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape:”

  • A report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed data from China and found that the case fatality rate for COVID-19 was 6.3 percent for people with chronic respiratory disease, compared with 2.3 percent overall (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020).
  • NIDA also reports that vaping can harm lung health just as smoking can, and as such, people who vape can be exposed to increased risk from COVID-19.
  • In 2019, the country experienced a vaping crisis in which as many as 2,739 people were hospitalized and 68 people died (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The more than 2,700 people who were hospitalized and suffer from residual complications associated with vaping-related lung illness are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19.

NIDA concludes: “We can make educated guesses based on past experience that people with compromised health due to smoking or vaping and people with opioid, methamphetamine, cannabis, and other substance use disorders could find themselves at increased risk of COVID-19 and its more serious complications-for multiple physiological and social/environmental reasons. The research community should thus be alert to associations between COVID-19 case severity/mortality and substance use, smoking or vaping history, and smoking- or vaping-related lung disease.”




26 November 2019

The Disciplinary committee must give their decision (together with reasons) whether to dismiss counts 3 and 4, and give their reasons for not dismissing counts 1 and 2.

Until then, Dr de Vos is not in a position to decide whether to apply to the High Court for review.

The next hearing date is 09 December 2019 at the Southern Sun, Newlands, Cape Town.

For more information contact: Martus De Wet of De Wet Wepener Attorneys at 057 004 0004 / Email: [email protected]

29 October 2019, DE VOS UPDATE:

The legal team for Dr De Vos argued that the case against him is a nullity and that it should be struck off the roll. Arguments continued until 16h30 and will continue today at 9h30.

Among other things, De Vos’ legal team argued that the charges are vague, the delay of almost three years is excessive, and that the HPCSA has not provided the prescribed information to De Vos’ legal team despite the ruling of the disciplinary committee on 27 August.

The HPCSA prosecutor argued that all information has been provided. This was disputed by De Vos’ legal team. Some additional information was then provided.

However, the committee must still rule on all the points raised by De Vos’ legal team.

Arguments will continue tomorrow at 9h30 at the Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands.

More more information contact Doctors For Life International at [email protected]