Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Predators by Anna Salter, Ph.D
Book: Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, & Other Sex Offenders
Author: Anna Salter, Ph.D
Recommended To: Parents, Potential Parents, Grandparents. Not recommended for actual children.
My sister is a social worker and has spent the second half of her short life working with victims of sexual assault. She read this book as a part of a class in college, owns two copies, and has been talking about this book non-stop for the last 7 years or so.
I finally, finally, decided to read it and I am seriously glad that I did. I feel so much better prepared to have kids and to keep them safe after reading this book. Which is why this book is recommended to every single person who has kids and every single person who wants to have kids.This book might become a staple in every baby shower gift that I give from now on. Just so parents have the opportunity to be aware of the dangers facing their children.
The incidence of child molestation and rape is far too prevalent not to be prepared for this horrifying situation that could happen to anyone. Salter breaks the book up into chapters about each type of predator and ends the book with chapters about how to detect deception and how to deflect predators from yourself and your children. Those chapters were my favorite because Salter gives practical advice on what predators look for when they groom child victims and how to deflect that attention away from your kids.
Salter is admittedly a bit dry. This is a sociological work and she goes into lots of detail about a lot of different studies. This can drag, but she generally does an excellent job of explaining the studies in a way that is very easy for a lay person to understand. She also includes a lot of anecdotes that move the book along very well.
A word of warning about this book. It is absolutely terrifying. Especially the chapter on psychopaths. Those are the predators that don't feel even a bit of remorse or guilt when they lie, deceive, or commit heinous crimes. I can't speak about the chapter on Sadists because I skipped it. Salter includes a warning at the beginning of the chapter and says that if you don't think you can handle it, then you should skip it. I opted to heed her warning. I think I can be aware of predators without knowing the exact details of the crimes they commit in their own words. That's too much.
In short, this book is B material. I liked it. I'm passing it around to all of the women in my book club so that we are prepared to keep our kids safe and I recommend it to everyone who has the same goal.