facts & advice
Get expert tips to support children
To help you give them the tools to be more critical about how they interact with others online, we’ve created a hub of expert advice to support you on this issue.
Grooming usually refers to child sexual abuse. However, groomers also target children for purposes such as radicalisation, drug trafficking (county lines) and financial gain.
Groomers first befriend a child. Online, this could be someone they have never met. A groomer might pretend they’re the same age as your child; because there is a screen between them, your child can’t know who the other person is for sure.
Alternatively, a groomer may tell the truth about who they are, which some young people may see as a benefit. For example, a child without an older role model might feel a connection to an older person who treats them well.
Once a groomer gains a child’s trust, they can manipulate them to do what they want. Children and young people may have trouble saying no to someone who has built a relationship with them, making it easy for online grooming to happen.
If someone targets your child online for sexual purposes, the victim may not recognise it as abuse. The groomer might have made them feel special or could be an older child. Unfortunately, a child abused in this way may not seek help right away, so it’s important to look out for the signs of sexual abuse to take action.
It is important to look out for other changes that might be signs of other types of online grooming as well. These might include: