- A form of sexual abuse, where an individual or a gang, using money, power or affection, exploit children up to the age of 18. This abuse can also be committed online.
- Both males and females of all backgrounds, ethnicities and religious beliefs can be perpetrators.
- Children are often encouraged by the perpetrator/s to bring along friends and siblings of a similar age.
- Victims can be boys or girls from all backgrounds, ethnicities and religious beliefs. They are brainwashed (groomed) into believing they are special, loved and cared for by the perpetrator/s, or their exploitation can be through threats and violence.
- Mood swings – angry, emotional, withdrawn, suicide attempts, depression.
- Bruising, scaring on body.
- Receiving gifts.
- Staying out late or not returning home.
- Secretive and distant towards family and friends.
- Skipping education.
- Involved in criminal activity.
- Education grades dropping.
- Sexually transmitted infections.
- Pregnancy or miscarriage
- Using alcohol or drugs
- Eating disorders
- Not sleeping, nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks.
- Violence or aggression towards parents, siblings or animals.
- Doesn’t recognise it as abuse.
- Believe abuser is their girlfriend / boyfriend / think it’s normal.
- Too dificult to talk about.
- Think the abuser will change.
- Embarrassed, ashamed, judged, to blame, will be rejected, isolated or called a liar.
- Emotionally attached to the abuser.
- Feel will put themselves and family at risk.
- Don’t know who to tell or trust.
- Be addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- Committed criminal offences.
It’s important to keep a diary / notebook and keep all information and details noted signed and dated. Email or message yourself so you have a copy thats dated and timed. Make sure all information is shared with all relevant agencies.
- Times and dates.
- Names or nick names, ages, physical descriptions.
- Addresses and locations.
- Phone numbers.
- Social media content.
- Registration numbers, car vehicle make, model and colour.
- Witnesses names and descriptions.
- What activities was you doing that day? What was the weather like? And what was you wearing and who was you with?
All this will help. Remember this info could be used 20 years down the line and your memory might not be that clear.
If someone is to disclose be as accurate as you can when logging info you could be required as a witness.
Grooming happens online too be careful who and what your child is doing online, teach them and yourself about online safety.
- Medical professionals.
- Social services.
- Teacher or staff.
- Parent, friend or relative.
- Confidential helplines: Childline 0800 1111
More information can be found on the websites below: