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How to Spot a Sexual Predator

Charleston, West Virginia attorneys pursue justice for abused victims

Victims of sexual predators and their families often lament that they did not realize that an attacker was dangerous until it was too late. At The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, we are experienced West Virginia sex abuse lawyers who are dedicated to achieving a measure of justice for survivors of these attacks. Our attorneys have secured substantial verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs in civil legal actions and use what we’ve learned about this subject to help community members recognize and stop sexual predators.

What is a sexual predator?

A key difference that distinguishes sexual predators is that they seek not just sexual gratification, but dominance and control over their victims. This is why a predator’s target is frequently a child or someone in a vulnerable position, such as an employee. Nearly all predators are male and many try to trap victims into a sexual relationship by lying or making express or implied threats.

What are the characteristics of a sexual predator?

There’s no single tipoff or physical characteristic that marks someone as a sexual predator. In fact, many abusers use their normal appearance or respected position to gain the trust of potential victims. However, there are some red flags you should pay attention to. Many predators use a “grooming” process, during which they show a high degree of attentiveness and direct manipulative language toward their target to create a sense of dependency. You should also be suspicious of someone who violates boundaries by giving a young person alcohol or drugs or conjures reasons to be alone with them.

How sexual predators choose their victims

Sexual predators take advantage of anything they can to find and isolate a victim. Sometimes, an abuser will look for a child who is vulnerable because they are having trouble at home or school. Predators might go after someone who knows and trusts them. People in power frequently exploit their authority knowing that vulnerable victims might have trouble reporting sexual abuse because they are afraid of the repercussions.

Can sexual predators change behavior?

Though some sexual predators have been able to stop their abusive and illegal behavior, this is often a long process that requires intensive professional assistance. In certain instances, predatory behavior is linked to drug or alcohol use. Depending on circumstances, a predator might go for a long time without committing an attack, but they can remain dangerous if an opportunity arises.

What to do if you suspect someone is a sexual predator in West Virginia

Should you suspect that someone is a sexual predator, it is critical to get their victim and other possible targets to safety. Contacting the police might lead to criminal action, but that can take a long time, and law enforcement might not believe they have enough evidence to establish probable cause. Once you are aware that someone might be engaging in predatory behavior, you should record any information you have regarding the individual and any contact they made with potential victims. Retaining an experienced sex abuse victims attorney will help you take legal action in pursuit of a resolution that holds a predator accountable in civil litigation.

Contact a Charleston lawyer if you or your child was attacked by a sexual predator

The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC advocates for West Virginians abused by sexual predators. For a consultation regarding a possible legal claim against the attacker, please call 888-819-1281 or contact us online. We are located in Charleston, two blocks from the riverfront.