Another female sex offender, Alissa McCommon (38), being arrested in the United States this week, reminds us that we do not often hear of such cases in the UK. Is it because there are fewer cases, or because they are generally more difficult to detect?
Females who are sexually attracted to children generally fall into one of three groups.
The first is the individual who has a sexual interest in pre-pubescent children. She is not different from her male counterpart, who sadly we do hear of, on a too regular basis. The allegations against Ms McCommon, who allegedly had sex with a 12year old boy, would place her into this category.
The second group includes women who are of very low self-esteem. They have become involved with a man who is himself a child sex offender, or is in the trade of child pornography or sex trafficking. He pushes this female partner, often selected because she works with children, or has children of her own, to abuse them sexually and record the events on his behalf, which she would then pass to him.
He will exploit her weaknesses as leverage to get the job done, as the female abuser fears the relationship will end if she refuses his demands. Her motivation in abusing the children therefore is not personal sexual gratification, but to maintain the relationship. (This is of course not an excuse; it is just an explanation).
Vanessa George, was the UK (Portsmouth) nursery teacher who abused children in her care for her partner Colin Blanchard. She may well be into this category.
The third group, and I mean no offence, is often referred to as the “teacher type”. She is likely to be aged between her late thirties and mid-fifties. She has a sexual attraction to teenage (predominantly) boys.
Nikki Varney was a 44-year-old Pennsylvania high school teacher who was convicted of having a sexual relationship with 15-year-old boy in her class. Typically, she was married with her own children.
We tend to be more trusting of women with our children; and statistically this may well be justified. However, those in the industry of child protection (to include education) need to be aware of the threats. Corporate employees who leave their children to the care of others, also need to be aware of the threats posed.
Schools and nurseries need to have measures in place not just to protect pupils/students from potential offenders, but also to protect good teachers from spurious allegations by aggrieved parents.
If anyone requires help in this subject matter, please feel free to get in touch.