How to Identify a Pedophile: 8 Warning Signs that Can Help Spot a Child Abuser

Carla L. Hirsch
signs of pedophilia

Parents often hear about cases of child abuse on TV and social media. But, in most cases, they think it happens elsewhere and would never relate to their children. Unfortunately, acts of child abuse happen more frequently than an average parent thinks.

For instance, there were reported 656,243 cases of child abuse in the United States solely. Around 158,900 of those children were aged from 2 to 5.

Child abuse can come in various forms, including psychological, physical, and sexual mistreatment. The worst thing is that child abuse remains common throughout the world. One of the worst cases of it is pedophilia.

Table Of Contents

What Is Pedophilia: Mental Illness or Act of Violence?

Pedophilia, also classified in DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR as paraphilia, is a form of psychosexual disorder in adults. It’s characterized by a wish of a mature person to have sexual relations with children, usually aged 13 or younger.

Pedophiles often start their relations with children from friendship and then engage them in sexual connections. Some cases results in a victim’s death.

Most commonly, a pedophile is an everyman who lives nearby or works at your kid’s school. That’s why it’s important to know the most common signs of pedophilia that can help you safeguard your child from befriending a molester.

warning signs of a child predator

How to Spot a Pedophile: 8 Signs that Can Save Your Child from Abuse

Identifying a child predator can be pretty challenging, as often pedophiles look like common people. Researchers say these are mostly males over 30 years old, married, and those occupying a wide range of job positions (although some prefer being close to kids and choose child-related professions).

Although you can’t say for sure that the one is a pedophile, you can pay attention to the warning signs of a child predator described below.

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*It is important to assume that the following characteristics alone do not determine that one as a pedophile.

  • Unusual Interest in Child Activities

One of the most obvious symptoms of pedophilia is the intensive interest of an adult person in child activities. Most molesters prefer to spend time as if they were kids, rather than choosing activities for adults.

Their hobbies can appear childlike, such as playing with cars or planes and collecting toys. An environment they live in or spend time in is often decorated in a childish manner and can appeal to the age and sex of a victim.

  • Use of “Angelic” Terms to Describe Kids

Pedophiles tend to use divine-related definitions to describe children. If you often notice that an adult corresponds to a child as an “angel” or uses words, such as “innocent” or “pure” too often, it can be a warning pedophile flag.

  • Mental or Mood Disorders

If you know someone who suffers from a mental disorder, they aren’t necessarily a child abuser. However, as pedophilia is classified as a psychosexual disorder, it can be accompanied by other psychic diseases.

  • Good Relations with the Victim

Pedophiles tend to build strong friendly relationships with their victims. They usually concentrate on a single target and work hard on gaining their trust.

Oftentimes, a pedophile turns out to be acquainted with a kid. For example, they can turn out to be a victim’s teacher, neighbor, babysitter, or a family friend. Rarely, an abuser can be a close family member.

symptoms of pedophilia

  • “Friendship” with Vulnerable Children

Predators prefer building relations with shy or withdrawn kids who need support but can’t get it from family. So, pedophiles give their victims care, money, and, finally, become their friends and mentors.

Then, a pedophile engages a child in watching adult movies and browsing explicit pictures. Before the know it, a kid can find themselves enticed in sexual relations with an adult predator.

  • Collections of Pornography

Almost all child abusers collect and keep DVDs with adult movies that they protect at all costs. They can also store child erotic content and child-adult pornography. Sometimes, they obtain “trophies” from their victim: photos and videos taken during the act of abuse.

  • Provoking Anger to Parents in a Kid 

Criticizing the victim’s family members and their approach to parenting is another way for a predator to gain trust. They enable a child to think that parents limit their freedom. They draw a kid from the family by convincing young people they’re old enough to perform adult activities, including sex.

  • Spending Time Alone with a Child 

If a predator is someone you know (e.g. your friend or your child’s coach), they can insist on staying with your kid alone. If you notice they do it too often, make sure to discuss every detail of their time spent together with your child.

  • Active Internet Groomer

In real life, there’s a chance that a kid recognizes a molester by their weird appearance or other signs of a petifile. However, they can barely identify a predator online. Pedophiles can be active social media users where they seek new child acquaintances and choose a potential victim

How to Prevent a Child from Being Abused?

There are federal laws devoted to fighting child abuse. For instance, Megan’s Law requires that local law enforcement notify people about sentenced sex offenders that live nearby or visit their communities. It was passed in 1996 and helped many parents to indicate a pedophile before it’s too late.

However, the law has no power when it comes to uncovered child abusers that pose a danger for kids right now. The only way to prevent children from contacting them is by monitoring the online activity of a kid.

You can use a parental control app, such as mSpy, to detect and block online predators on your kid’s social media account and cell phone contacts.

The mSpy app makes it possible to read your child’s text messages, view sent and received media files, and monitor their calls right from your smartphone. You can also track your kid’s GPS location remotely and get details about their actual whereabouts.

There’s no better monitoring solution!
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Carla L. Hirsch is a writer, editor, and journalist. She has been a staff writer in various US-based periodicals for five years. But then she decided to dedicate her life to traveling and freelance writing.


  • Nice Carla but you should add travels locations too… A single man going to disgusting places such as south thailand islands, koh phangan and koh tao are a strong hint…

  • A friend of mine, her father molested her when she was young and then he started travelling to other countries like Moise mentioned above. She finally got her day in court with him and he didn’t do a long jail term because he was older so they took his passport away. He was flying up into his old age.

  • Apps like Web Watchers track children against the Children’s online privacy policy. Online apps can be used for a bad purpose.

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