Online Grooming

being well groomedOnline grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with you to gain your trust for the purposes of sexual abuse – like sending a naked video or image of yourself. Online grooming and sexual abuse is wrong. Groomers may be male or female. They could be any age. If it has happened to you, it is not your fault.

Online groomers can be really good at lying about who they are. It can be difficult to know if someone is an online friend, or if they’re trying to get you to send them sexual images or videos. It might have started as an online relationship which got out of control.

If someone is trying to groom you these are some of the things they my do:

  • Message you all the time, sometimes using different channels,
  • Ask you to keep it a secret.
  • Ask you who else uses your computer.
  • Say lots of nice things to you.
  • Start sending sexual messages. They could start to say nice things about your appearance or your body or ask things like “have you ever been kissed?”
  • Be unpredictable. They may say really nice things to you and then all of a sudden start being nasty or insulting you.
  • Try to blackmail you. They might try to get you to send sexual images of yourself by saying they will be hurt or upset if you don’t. If you have sent images already, they could threaten to post them online or show them to people you know unless you send them more.

Boys can be victims of grooming too, yet boys are less likely than girls to come forward and speak out if they suspect they are being groomed, or think they are at risk of becoming a victim of child sexual exploitation.  Watch this video created by ‘The Blast Project’.

 

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