1. The Affection Lure
Most children are abused by someone they know and trust. Pedophiles
exploit these relationships and are experts at taking advantage of normal
tensions between teenagers and parents as well as youngsters who face issues
at home like divorce, substance abuse or neglect.
2. The Pet Lure
Children love animals and may be asked to help look for a “lost
puppy.” Remind children, “There is no lost puppy!”
3. The Assistance Lure
This appeals to the helpful nature of children when predators ask
them for directions or a helping hand. Tell children that, generally
speaking, adults should ask other adults for help. The best defense against
this lure is pretending not to hear, then quickly leaving the area.
4. The Authority Lure
Pedophiles take advantage of their positions as coach, clergy, scout
leader, relative, etc. to intimidate or force youngsters into abuse or
worse. Stress that it is illegal for any adult to touch a child in
the Bathing Suit Zone.
5. The Bribery Lure
Children are offered candy, toys, CDs, drugs, money, etc. to
persuade them to go willingly with a potential abductor or as a reward for
tolerating abuse or keeping it secret.
6. Ego / Fame
Youngsters are offered an immediate audition or private tryout and
told to keep it a secret from parents.
By faking a crisis, predators trick youngsters into going with them
willingly. Example: “Your mother was in a car accident and has been taken
to the hospital! I was sent to take you to her.”
8. Fun & Games
Games that include the use of handcuffs, ropes, duct tape or other
restraints prevent children from protecting themselves or escaping. Advise
children not to participate in these “games.”
9. The Hero Lure
Predators exploit their “hero” status, or individuals they admire
like favorite teachers, coaches, relatives or local celebrities, to abuse
youngsters. Children may endure repeated abuse in order to maintain the
“friendship” or keep their hero out of trouble.
10. The Job Lure
The offer of a high-paying, interesting or fun job may be just a
trick to abuse or abduct children and particularly college students. Phony
interviews are often scheduled in secluded locations or advertised with only
a post office box.
11. The Name Recognition Lure
Well-meaning parents often mark backpacks, clothing and other
belongings with nametags. Predators call the child by name, creating a false
sense of familiarity and trust.
12. The Playmate / Companion Lure
Pedophiles may lure youngsters to their home with a party
atmosphere, providing toys, sports equipment, use of a swimming pool, etc.
They may promote an “anything goes” attitude that can be very attractive to
13. The Threats & Weapons Lure
Predators may blackmail or threaten youngsters into cooperation or
silence. “It’s my word against yours, and who’s going to believe a little
14. The Pornography Lure
Pedophiles routinely introduce pornography to set the stage for
abuse. Children of all ages are curious about sex, and it is not difficult
to hold their attention with this material.
15. The Computer / Online Lure
Predators successfully lure children through the use of anonymous
chat-rooms and e-mail to learn a child’s personal information and to arrange
private, in-person meetings.
16. The Drugs Lure
Drugs, especially alcohol, can be used to incapacitate, seduce or
lure youngsters into abuse. Keeping a clear head at all times is critical to
a child’s safety.
17. The Hate & Violence Lure
This lure results in untold bullying and harassment in schools
across America. Repeated cruel, belittling or sexual comments can have a
profound effect on sensitive youngsters, sometimes leaving deep scars.
** It is important to note that combinations of these lures can be used at
the same time. For additional information on the Child Lures Prevention Program,
please contact Kathleen Nowosadko, Director of the Office of Environment for the
Archdiocese of Hartford, at 860-541-6491 or