For over ten years, a paedophile teacher, Rameez, raped, abused and blackmailed numerous schoolboys in Jaipur. Despite several complaints from students, the school administration didn’t inform the police and simply asked Rameez to resign. They risked safety of hundreds of other children.
“My son was barely 14 when this teacher abused him first. He threatened to fail my son in examinations and the child got scared. My son silently went through the trauma,” said the victim’s father.
His son had finally found evidence to prove his crime. The students had gone on a picnic in the third week of January. The students managed to remove the memory card of Rameez’s mobile phone and gave it to the school administration as an evidence, but they didn’t approach the police just sacked him on January 23rd. Jaipur Police raided Rameez’s house and seized seventy-seven videos of the paedophile tutor molesting children. They have identified eleven of the victims. Angry crowd demanded death penalty for the 27-year-old accused, Rameez, in a protest at Ramgunj police station.
Rameez had been abusing kids over a period of ten years, employed as a private tutor for the children after school. According to the police, “After molesting a child, Rameez would blackmail him. He used to force children to film the videos of him molesting other kids.
This is not a sporadic incident of sexual crimes against children. In another incident on Feb 13, a 40-year-old bootlegger Naresh, with a history of numerous child molestation and rape cases was caught in Delhi. A month ago on January 13th Delhi police caught tailor Sunil Rastogi from Ashok Nagar. He confessed to molesting 500 girls, luring them with new clothes sent by their family. It is unfortunate that stigma is attached to abuse and our society ostracizes the victims. Parents choose to keep quiet and offenders continue to be on the prowl.
Are paedophiles same as molesters?
Molesters are opportunists who catch children, take them to lonely places and abuse them. They may or may not know the child earlier. Paedophile however is one of the lowest states of human depravity. They are mostly charming, suave, and knowledgeable, with an excellent scheming mind.
A paedophile identifies the child, befriends him, wins his trust and then attacks with the precision of a cold-blooded predator. They confuse their prey and intimidate him or her with dire consequences if they tell. Play on their guilt and shock and manipulate them to whet their sexual appetite over and over again. They keep as their sexual slaves on a leash of silence and guilt. Only in solitude, the beast within is unleashed.
Dr. Sulata Shenoy a psychologist sketched the psyche of a paedophile in an article, ‘Mapping the mind of a paedophile’ in Times of India in 2014. According to her, Paedophilia is a psychological disorder. Such people are secretive and manipulative to get what they want. They enjoy another’s pain and misery. It is difficult to tell one in daylight because they remain closely guarded. Often occupying positions of responsibility and trust. They ensure enrolling for activities that involve regular contact with children like orphanages, schools, swimming clubs or tuition classes. It is sad that they are so well behaved that parents trust them with their kids.
A distressing fact is that most of them gain the trust and confidence of the victim before perpetrating the crime, and are rarely strangers to the child. Paedophiles are masters in manipulative behaviour and often first become the child’s friend. The Paedophile often bribes the child with attention, gifts, chocolates, trips to amusement parks etc. to gain compliance. Engage for a long time listening to their hopes and problems. They appeal to the child’s need to be understood, pretend to share an ‘exciting secret’ with him or entice him.
Method to the madness
Mike Crother, a former prison officer in Australia, gave an interview to ABC news, explaining the pattern paedophiles follow. He had twenty years of experience with a ward of the most serious criminal paedophiles. He described that a paedophile even when caught, almost never confesses his crime. He makes stories and claims that he could never hurt children because he loved them.
1 They first observe the kids in their natural environment. Take jobs where meeting them is easier. They are very articulate and build up a good friendly image. Their cunning side is carefully wrapped under the icing.
2 They hatch detailed plans to trap their target and call it grooming. Make friends with the family. They give special attention to the child to over come his emotional barrier against strangers. They tell them stories, show them collectibles or buy them goodies. They win their trust.
3 Alienation from parents– They probe on troubles in the family and coax children to tell dirty family secrets. They give them money or some experience like a secret outing which parents forbid. This serves two purposes- makes the child feel important and alienates him from parents.
4 Offence– the emotional interaction becomes sexual. The child gets confused, guilty and scared. The paedophile feeds on their fear, further coerces them with things they would otherwise never do.
5 Ensuring secrecy– they intimidate the child, warn him of dire consequences if he told anyone. The secrets they elicited earlier are used to silence the child. If parents come to know, they could commit suicide or kill the child. At times threaten to molest or harm their younger siblings. The child is so guilty and scared he becomes their pawn.
To prevent such people getting an access to your child, parents need to be cautious while entrusting a child to another adult, unless they know them well. A background check of the person, whether he has changed jobs and locations frequently, also needs to be established. Not just girls boys need to be supervised too.
With the Internet revolution one needs to watch, who the children engage with online. At times paedophiles pretend to be children to make friends with younger kids. The grooming happens online. In a recent case in UK a couple baited and caught a paedophile who had travelled 400 miles to make physical contact with his ‘groomed’ target.
It’s important to have a close and trusting relationship with your child and teach the child about body safety and boundaries, appropriate and inappropriate touch. Most of all believe in your child and support the child if he/she reports abuse.