I was contacted by a friend who witnessed Clayton Griffin, a Federal Police Officer who was just sentenced to 55 years, pursue his interest in me while at work. When she told me what happened I quite honestly did not remember him – but she did. She used to work directly with him, and anytime I came to see her, he would try to talk to me until I abruptly expressed disinterest.
More alarming that the news (because I don’t have any kind of attachment to his plight), was the arguments by commenters who personally know Mr. Griffin. I believe that based on the comments, some of them could be family members and one may be the victim. Why they chose to have this argument on a public website for the world to see remains to be understood but there are a lot sirens that went off in my head while reading the disputes.
One gentleman I believe to be his brother with the screen name et344Life said “I am the personal friend of Clayton and his wife. This is ripping my heart out to know my brother is not of this nature. See when you are adopted into his family and know as Uncle E. I know this man on every aspect of his life. He is a loving father that has provided protected and work countless hours on Canine Detail. He has raised children that was his by marriage and took them as his own. He faithfully attended all or most of school functions. He supported every child to excel also pushing them to do better if they fell short it was a calming voice to say you tried. See we took family vacations together bbq every weekend. We would see each other at least 4 times a week. And he would give you the shirt off his back. He has never jeopardized his badge and serve this nation with Distinction thru Military Service, also Canine Patrol. Do I know him yes I do…This man has cried to me and I the same to him about family issue’s and coping and dealing. He is innocent for the record…Little Brother this to shall past. And as long as you remember Justice, Prudence, Temperence, Fortitude, and Forgiveness..”
I do not want to hurt those who are hurting over him being imprisoned however, I will use Mr. Clayton Griffin, and this situation as an example. I don’t remember much about him trying to talk to me except that something didn’t feel right, and I was uncomfortable. My friend probably remembers more, but it is not important to share here.
In this article, I am going to reveal why the above comment does not mean that Clayton Griffin is incapable of the actions by which he was convicted.
The following information is not be confused with reasons to find something wrong with a perfectly good person. I am not interested in inciting paranoia, instead I am offering ways for you to identify behaviors that you may not realize are indicators, and to dispel myths that you think absolve a person of being the accused.
For the purposes of this post I will use the word – “He” however please understand that though men report child sexual abuse and sexual assault less, the numbers do reflect that one in four women, and one in six men have been sexually abused. This means that although the calculations for the number of women offenders are less, this blog may apply to women as well. There are some differences in profiles but for the most part this document is generic enough to apply to both genders.
Babysitting The Children
In one story, available here, a woman who we’ll call Jane was dating someone who wanted to give her a break, and offered to watch her three children while she went to the gym in the evening. She thought this made him a great guy. Here is a relationship tip, most men who are responsible men with standards would be uncomfortable with coming in to create a father-type of relationship or at least carrying on babysitter or father-like responsibilities when he first meets a woman. In every case, if this happens beware that he may have other intentions.
Constant Conversation About Your Children
One of the issues single parents have is going out on dates and constantly talking about how much they adore their children or how much they dislike them. Either way, single parents often make their children too much of the conversation taking away from the purpose of you going on a date, and getting a little adult time.
Instead, when you date make sure not to mention your children. Do not readily give information and for the love of God please do not give you child’s school name, city or state. Keep conversation about your children to a minimum. You can say how you feel about them such as: “I have some really good children, and I am blessed.” You can let them know that if they date you and want more in the future that your children will not be terrors, without speaking about them for three hours.
Now, if you keep it to a minimum – observe how much they bring up your children. Do they insist on seeing pictures? Do they make the whole conversation about your children? The thing is, there are many parts of you. There are many things to discuss – wouldn’t you agree! I mean, you’re funny, smart and have thoughts and opinions about all types of things. I would rather you talk about politics on the first date than your children! Keep them safe.
He Is Secretive About His Life Before You
There is a story by Sundi Jo that I wrote about her healing journey from child sexual abuse. In her story, she said to me, “Secrets Make You Sick.”
From the perspective of someone dating a new person, their secrets should not make you sick. I have had people (when I were single) who said that I was “secretive.” On the contrary, I’m private and if I don’t “trust” you, my business is none of your business! Now that I’m married even if I trust you, my business is none of your business! But, privacy and secrecy are very different. When you perceive someone to be keeping secrets about their life that may be crucial in helping you to decide your relationship fate, you can either expel more energy or move on.
Because of my character type, I usually date men who are open with me whether they are good, bad or indifferent. I dated this really secretive man who happened to look just like R. Kelly – but a chocolatey-er version. I thought he had a lot of issues with women around trust. I never met his friends. He made an appearance at my church and even met my pastor. He acted as if he thought me to be a queen. He had hatred in his heart for his drug addicted mother. I never knew him to be a predator – even with what I know now, I can not conclude him to fit any profiles absolutely, however he did deceive me.
What I learned was that he told me that he was a christian – actively practicing in the christian faith, when in fact he was a practicing muslim. I felt like something was wrong, tried to make it work although I knew he was not the one but he had the most perfect body. The feeling though was too strong to ignore that I should stay away from him. He also did not want to have sex but I believe he was lying about it being for spiritual reasons.
For a christian woman who wants to hold out until marriage, you can be fooled when a man says that he doesn’t want to have sex. Make sure that your spirit confirms his reasoning, and not that he is impotent, or unable to perform for some other reason, including no attraction because he is a predator.
After the relationship was over, probably a year later when we spoke and he indicated he was a muslim, God made it very clear that it was he who guided me to end that connection immediately. Muslim men require their women to convert! He was not the first muslim to pursue me – he was just the first to lie about it.
In the story that I first mentioned about the woman who allowed her children to be babysat by Dan – who was a preacher’s kid, she indicated that he would never give details about why he was divorced from his wife. When in fact she divorced him for molestation of their child. His parents couldn’t or wouldn’t believe it and assured her that he did not do this. And because they were pastors, she believed them – until her own child was molested!
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Secrets Make You Sick – keep this in mind. If your spirit says that something isn’t right about a person, you do not have to know why at that moment, but I assure you that all things are revealed in time.
In a story that I wrote about Catherine Portillo, who lives in Hawaii and has a successful real estate company, she mentions finding a set of child earrings in her perpetrators car, who is now in his eighties. She thought he to be too old to be a predator. If you find that you keep randomly finding toys, earrings, boys ball caps or other items that you know belong to children you should immediately be alarmed and respond.
If the person who you may be questioning as a perpetrator has a child or children, you may find it difficult to apply this warning sign. What you can do however is notice if the person you’re dating has a female child’s items in his car, home etc, when you know that they have fathered a boy or vice versus.
Catherine Portillo’s perpetrator is her step-father and she was left in charge of his car when he went to visit family. This is when the child’s earrings were discovered.
Walk In The Park
Everyone wants to take a stroll in the park, right? The summer breeze is perfect, the sun make you feel and look beautiful with just the right amount of sunlight on your face. It may be a good idea to take a walk in a semi-crowded park instead of opting for total seclusion.
I would not recommend taking your date to a family gathering for a child’s birthday. You will become comfortable and he could disappear. Instead, take a walk in a park with a child area near that has swing sets or a sandbox. If you want to know whether everything is safe, watch for reactions. No grown man should become “child-like”, or totally abandon you for the likes of a child they do not know. It is not appropriate. You may be alarmed if you notice that he is mesmerized by a child. Follow your intuition – the first time!
Remember that predators are hunters. A lion does not see a gazelle running and decide to ignore it. I would imagine that even if the lion has eaten for the day, they will be hypnotized by the gazelle trying to choose whether to move in or not.
In this case, a predator will not care if he or she is on a date, they may be hypnotized by the child and it should make you feel terribly uncomfortable. If this happens, end your walk, or picnic. Be sure to leave with the guy so he will not hurt someone’s child while he is with you. And, in a serious enough situation, where the parents may not be watching the child, I would gently warn them – because you can not control whether he doubles back if you are in separate cars.
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In The Bible And Child Sexual Abuse, I gave a number of statistics that I want to leave with you to dispel your myths about what kind of person would be a sexual predator.
- 77% of predators are married
- 64% are employed
- 93% are religious
So, in the argument of Clayton Griffin who is said to be a hard-working husband, who provides for his family – he fits the profile.
Men who are attracted to boys like Jerry Sandusky are perpetrators who are married too – and are not homosexual. He did not want adult men in a consensual relationship, instead he wanted little children whom he could sexually assault.
I know I could give a lot more than five ways, and I want to be clear that there are different profiles for sexual predators depending on their preferences, and other characteristics. I have additional posts on this website that I believe can help you in gaining a knowledgeable confidence to apply to your dating habits.
Lastly, after reading several article about Clayton Griffin of Waldorf, Maryland and his charges, it appears that the victim was a fifteen year old child. My friend and I (the same one who told me about Griffin) grew up in a church where there was a man who had sex with a fifteen year old girl.
It spread throughout the church, and even I then thought the girl to be a horrible person; fast – a home wrecker, etc. When in fact what I understand now, is that the man was the adult, and he manipulated his way into having sex with her. He was having sex with lots of single women in the church. He really wasn’t all that cute but not all predators look a specific way. I briefly had a friendship with his step son who he introduced sex to through prostitutes. Not only did he do this for his step-son, but all of the church going boys who were connected to them.
My bishop, who is resting in peace kicked him out of the church and rightfully so. He did not want to get right. He sexually abused those boys, and girls. He was the perpetrator. To understand why I have included the boys in the abuse, be sure to read my blog on Lil’ Wayne and His Child Sexual Abuse.
From this, I say that a child who has what appears to be consensual sex with a grown man, does not have the decision making ability to really claim that choice. Often left feeling confused, regretful and lost, young girls who are manipulated by men or fabricated to believe that they are something more than a conquest are scarred, and labeled by those who do not know how to spot a predator.
By all means, please feel free to comment, and/or ask questions below.
Ressurrection Graves is an author, speaker and relationship mentor. She is available for speaking engagements on topics surrounding healing, prevention and awareness of child sexual abuse. For singles, she offers Seven Steps To Finding Your Mate For Life. She can be contacted at: ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com, or 202.717.7377.