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What is Grooming and what to do about it?

What is Grooming and what to do about it?


What is Grooming?


Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust, and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them. Anybody can be a groomer, no matter their age, gender, or race.


Stages of grooming


  1. Targeting the Victim: Often chosen by sizing up the child’s vulnerability; emotional neediness, isolation, and low self-confidence. This can be done through social media platforms

  2. The Bond: Gaining Trust + Information: Offenders gain trust by watching and gathering information about the child, getting to know his/her needs and how to fill them. Might even try to get close with their parents.

  3. Filling a Need: Using the information gained, offenders begin to offer to the child what they are “missing” – giving extra special attention and affection (compliments, flattery, and support), giving gifts, offering companionship, promising gifts of alcohol or drugs – forms of coercion that the child does not recognize. Once the offender begins to fill the child’s needs, the child victim becomes dependant on them; the adult may assume noticeably more importance in the child’s life. Attempts to make child break any rule set by her parents which remain as a secret between offender and child and as a threat.

  4. Access + Separation; Isolating the child: The grooming sex offender uses the developing special relationship with the child to create situations in which they are alone together.

  5. And the abuse begins.



Harmful effects of grooming


Grooming opens up a person for physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. It can also lead to confusion. Loss of self-esteem, along with losing the ability to feel comfortable making decisions, are common results. There's also a risk of developing mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Victims of grooming often struggle in future relationships.


Signs you're being groomed


Abuser is telling you negative things about your loved ones to keep you separated. Being offered financial support and a place to live very quickly, and if the abuser insists on driving you places and waiting for you. Partners question your social media use, threaten to leave the relationship when you try to be independent. Sweet talking and providing you with gifts, etc. Fulfilling your needs very quickly. Always ready to take you anywhere alone.


What to do if you're being groomed


Find someone who can give you a reality check on what is happening. Do not use shared devices or devices provided by or connected to a shared network with the partner. If this person is a friend or family member and if you don't feel comfortable talking to loved ones, you can get support through organizations.


Lastly,

Grooming is not the victim's fault.


Research Coordinator - Umme Affa Ibnat Masud

Editor - Vaishnavi Bhojane

Graphic Designer - Hafsa


Sources:

  1. https://www.health.com/relationships/what-is-grooming-sexual

  2. https://www.albertacacs.ca/blog/stages-of-grooming

  3. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/grooming/





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