Sunday, January 01, 2006

What is grooming?

NetSafe - Jan 1, 2006

Grooming is when a person tries to `set up' and `prepare' another person to be the victim of sexual abuse. Although not all sexual-abuse is preceded by grooming, it is a very common and deceitful process, which can be used by strangers or by those known to the victim. The method can take quite a while (even months and years), and can be very subtle and sneaky. Victims of grooming often do not realise that they are being manipulated until after they have been sexually abused, and even then, some victims do not see how the grooming led to their abuse.

In the offline world, groomers use many techniques to prepare their victims, such as;
  • giving inappropriate attention to children,
  • giving gifts,
  • manipulating a child through threats or coercion
  • openly or accidentally exposing the victim to nudity and sexual material
  • sexualizing physical contact, such as inappropriate tickling and wrestling,
  • having an inappropriate and intrusive interest into children's physical and sexual development,
  • having inappropriate social boundaries (e.g., telling the potential victims about their own personal problems etc).

And other exploitative strategies the groomer can use and adapt to the individual child they have targeted.

What is online grooming?
Online grooming also involves a person trying to set up an abusive situation, however they use cyber-technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones, to help them do this. Online groomers might find and choose their victims online, or might encourage an offline situation to go online (e.g., asking a child in a shopping centre for their email address, and then beginning to groom them online).

Click on one of the following links for further information about grooming:
  • What do online groomers do?
  • How do groomers find victims online?
  • How is grooming different online?
  • Myths and misunderstandings about online grooming.
  • How to protect yourself against online grooming.
  • How do you know if you are being groomed online?
  • How do you know if someone is trying to groom a child online?
  • What to do if you suspect that someone is trying to groom you
  • What to do if you suspect that someone is trying to groom a child you know
  • What to do if you think you might be grooming online
  • What to do if you think someone you know might be grooming online

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