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Warning Signs of Grooming

Grooming is defined as "the action by a pedophile of preparing a child for a meeting, especially via an internet chat room, with the intention of committing a sexual offense". It is especially common for online strangers to find children via games, YouTube, and discord servers. It can occur with people in a position of power using their power to pressure youth. It can include but is not limited to teachers, managers, family members, and older college students. The common pattern of grooming is listed below.

  1. Assailants observe victims closely and identify specific facets of their personality to connect with them. They are looking for vulnerable individuals with accessible online profiles. \

  2. Utilize the child's innocence to establish "authentic" relationships. Abusers frequently look for positions where they have contact with children and will try to physically or emotionally distance a victim from people who are trying to protect them.

  3. Gain the trust of victim through frequent contact, sending gifts, and other means.

  4. If the abuse occurs in person, the perpetrator may frequently begin by hugging, wrestling, or tickling the victim before moving on to increasingly more sexual acts like massages or taking showers together. To promote the idea of sexual interaction, abusers may also show the victim pornographic material or engage in sexual conversation with them.

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