Grooming is the act of creating an environment where children are more likely to suffer sexual abuse. Grooming tactics come in many forms but often follow a similar pattern. Become familiar to help stop child sexual abuse before it occurs.
One tool common to those who sexually abuse kids is grooming: manipulative behaviors that the abuser uses to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of being caught. While these tactics are used most often against younger kids, teens and vulnerable adults are also at risk.
By: Coalition for Children
Perpetrators of child sexual abuse (CSA) may gain the trust of potential child victims and their caregivers by methodically “grooming” them. This process begins with identifying potential victims, gaining their trust, and breaking down their defenses. These grooming tactics are often directed at potential youth victims as well as the adult caregivers—parents, other youth-serving professionals, and the community-at-large. After gaining access to children and youth by achieving this trust, the perpetrator initiates some kind of contact that s/he finds sexually gratifying.
Grooming allows offenders to slowly overcome natural boundaries long before sexual abuse occurs. On the surface, grooming a child can look like a close relationship between the offending adult, the targeted child and (potentially) the child’s caregivers. The grooming process is often misleading because the offender may be well-known or highly regarded in the community. As a result, it’s easy to trust them.
By Juliette V.
Contrary to popular belief, child sexual abuse seldom happens at the hands of a shadowy stranger — most child sexual abuse victims are actually abused by someone they know. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), of the sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93% of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator.
By Elizabeth L. Jeglic, Ph.D.
There has been debate in the media recently as to the definition of grooming. In the research literature, sexual grooming has been defined as the deceptive process by which a would-be abuser, prior to the commission of the child sexual abuse, selects a victim, gains access to and isolates the minor, develops trust with the minor and often other adults in the minor’s life, and desensitizes the minor to sexual content and physical contact.
By Patrick O'Leary, Emma Koh, & Andrew Dare
Grooming can involve a range of behaviours that seek to build trust with and increase access to a child and cement the authority of the perpetrator and/or compliance of a child to perpetrate or continue to perpetrate child sexual abuse.