According to Ken Wooden, founder of Child Lures Prevention and expert in the fight against child sexual abuse, TSA pat downs make kids more susceptible to child sexual predators. As a parent, even if I thought the scanners were safe for my son, he still might get patted down after coming out of the scanner. This is a lose-lose for parents.
An expert in the fight against child sexual abuse is raising the alarm about a technique the TSA is reportedly using to get children to co-operate with airport pat-downs: calling it a “game”.
Ken Wooden, founder of Child Lures Prevention, says the TSA’s recommendation that children be told the pat-down is a “game” is potentially putting children in danger.
Telling a child that they are engaging in a game is “one of the most common ways” that sexual predators use to convince children to engage in inappropriate contact, Wooden told Raw Story.
Children “don’t have the sophistication” to distinguish between a pat-down carried out by an airport security officer and an assault by a sexual predator, he said.
The TSA policy could “desensitize children to inappropriate touch and ultimately make it easier for sexual offenders to prey on our children,” Wooden added.
Following an outcry last month over the use on children of “enhanced pat-downs” — which involve the touching of genitals — the TSA announced a new “modified” pat-down for children under 12. However, as the LA Times noted, the new rules are “unclear” on whether TSA agents can touch children’s genitals.
Addressing the controversy over pat-downs of children last month, TSA regional security director James Marchand told the press the TSA was working on new practices to make children more comfortable during the pat-down process.
“You try to make it as best you can for that child to come through. If you can come up with some kind of a game to play with a child, it makes it a lot easier,” said Marchand, promising to make it part of TSA training.
Here’s more on the “grooming” process child sexual predators use. Note, no one is saying the TSA are child sexual predators. The point is that by making the pat downs a game, the TSA is rendering kids more susceptible to child sexual predators.
Grooming is a process of desensitization that predators use on children to prepare and trick them into accepting sexual abuse. Once the predator has gained the child’s trust and confidence, they use everyday behaviours, like telling an inappropriate joke, a touch on the upper arm that lingers a little too long or a kiss on the lips to test whether your child is likely to tell on them. If the perpetrator is satisfied that your child won’t tell, the predator moves onto other forms of bad touching. If the child still doesn’t tell, then the abuse continues along the continuum of abuse from non contact, to contact and often ending with penetration and sometimes even homicide.