Confronting inappropiate behaviour

Have you ever seen a minor acting in a sexually inappropriate manner with an adult?

I was at a convention and the atmosphere was really cool but it also felt separated from society. Lots of children in cute cosplay, some with signs saying “free hugs”. One adult was wearing a shirt with a sexually suggestive loli. You could buy lolicon and shotacon if you looked hard enough. That stuff was actually illegal but there was little presence from police.

I met a guy who was basically there to hug kids. I didn’t know what to say to him. I’m a MAP and I was afraid of outing myself. On the dancefloor there was a preteen. She was far in the crowd and I couldn’t really see her, but I’m pretty sure she was in her panties. I felt uncomfortable so I left.

Should I have taken on responsibility to confront the adult? Should I have taken the girl away from the dance floor?

Probably better not to intervene personally, but you could write these things down and report them to the con organizer (especially the skeezy hugs) and see if they will commit to putting in place better procedures to safeguard minors. We are happy to work with event organizers to deal with issues like these and we offer No Children Harmed certification to those who establish that they have solid safeguarding procedures.

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When you say “preteen”, do you mean just in appearance, or did you have some way to confirm her age? Age based on appearance alone is often wrong. Typically, those dances, especially the late night ones, have guards at the door, checking official government ID. I would like to think that those people know how to do their jobs.

Seems suspicious. Sure, some are offering “free hugs”, but taken out of context, with the wrong people involved, things might get raunchy… Was there a guideline or code of conduct to follow? Anyone keeping watch or something similar?

There are some 20+ year olds who could pass as 13 year olds. It’s rare by it does happen. Subjective age could be difficult to pin down since some people may look like a petite 20 year old to one, but to another person that doesn’t interact with many short people could mistake that young adult as a early/preteen.

What environment was the dance? Like are there people there checking IDs?

Regardless as to whether there were ID checkers or not, I’d stay away from trying to intervene. When I was 21 years old (this was 12 years ago), I did see someone doing something very creepy with what I saw was a preteen, I then got into my car and deliberately ram into the person in question and proceeded to beat the individual in question badly enough that he was in intensive care. Needless to say that was a bad idea. I ended up on probation for 2.5 years, and was required to attend anger management. Will never do that ever again.

Basically, don’t take the law into your own hands, if it’s suspicious, than maybe alert the owners of the establishment. However, if there is someone there already checking IDs, than someone already did make sure that person was at least 18.