A POWER PLAY
Sex offenders who prey on adults
Most men who sexually assault adult women are motivated by a desire for power and control rather than by sexual impulses, especially in the case of sexual assaults committed by a spouse or an acquaintance.
Above all, the assailant seeks to dominate the other
Sex offenders who prey on children
Offenders who prey on children rarely use violence or physical coercion in committing their crimes. Many are looking for a satisfying emotional relationship with the child, which influences the strategies they use to get into a position where they can commit a sexual assault.
The vast majority (between 70% and 80%) of sexual offences involving children are premeditated, which discounts the theory of predators’ sexual impulsivity and lack of control around children.
Sexual predators outside of the family usually try to insert themselves into positions of authority where they will have contact with children without adult supervision, for example, by babysitting children, doing volunteer work with children, or coaching a sports team. They then work on earning the trust of the children and their parents.
A risk factor for sexual assault is a condition, circumstance, or trait in a person or their environment that increases the likelihood that they will commit a sexual assault or fall victim to a sexual assault. The presence of one or more risk factors cannot cause a sexual assault, but can increase the risk of one happening.
Even though the victim is never responsible, certain personal qualities can make someone more vulnerable to a sexual assault. Individual risk factors must not be used to blame the victim of a sexual assault, but rather to prevent sexual assault by identifying people who are more at risk and by addressing these factors. The offender is always the only person to blame for a sexual assault.