Online Grooming

Online Grooming by Paedophiles

Grooming is defined as "actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, in order to lower the child's inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity with the child". To "groom" a child a paedophile must have a way of communicating with a child effectively in private. To do this they are exploiting the popularity with children of chat rooms and social networking websites.

Social networking websites are very popular on the Internet and can be accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world. This combined with VOIP systems (eg SKYPE) allow voice, video & text based communication which in turn allows for the potential of full unrestricted communication access to children

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Paedophiles Preying on Children

Because commuication on the Internet are public and perceived as anonymous, children often feel they are safe. One of the dangers however is that children don’t know who they are talking to.

Paedophiles use social networking websites & chat rooms (sometimes posing as children or teenagers themselves) to initiate conversations with likely victims. They can be skilled at eliciting as much information as possible about location, interests and even sexual experiences from children. The next step for the paedophile may be to show examples of pornography, both adult and child. This is then used to undermine the reluctance of children to participate in a sexual encounter or other activities. It is also used to prevent the victim from seeking protection from their parents and teachers.

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