Tell-tale sign a sex pest is grooming your child: parents be warned
Woman and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) have warned parents to be careful of people who give their children more attention than they do.
"If someone gives your child more attention than you do, you have a problem," said the organisation's Luke Lamprecht at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday amid allegations that a Bryanston High School sports coach had sexually assaulted a pupil and harassed two others.
Alleged cases of sexual assault at other schools have also been reported on within the last year. These include alleged incidents at Parktown Boys' High, AB Xuma, Valhalla Primary and Amazizi high schools.
"Grooming is a process by which an adult in a position of trust or authority takes one child or two or three children and makes them their favourite; somebody who says ‘you are going to be the next running star' and then pays special attention to that child," Lamprecht explained.
"When you see somebody taking a special interest in your child by isolating them, that’s when you need to intervene because that’s when the danger starts."
In addition, sex pests "engage in boundary violations, for example watching pornography", he said.
According to Lamprecht, once the boundary has been violated, it is hard for the children to go to their parents and report what has happened because they fear they might be in trouble.
The Bryanston coach was found guilty after a disciplinary process at the school. He is due to appear in court on Tuesday next week in connection with a complaint laid by one of the three learners he is alleged to have sexually harassed.
"Parents who decided to take the disciplinary process over the criminal process did so because they believed they would be rid of this teacher forever and that he will never work with children again," said Miranda Jordan, the director of WMACA.
"We felt they were very much guided during the process and led to believe this would be a two- or three-day process as opposed to a long criminal process."