Grooming and sexual exploitation

The ultimate aim of grooming is to take advantage of the young person! Groomers will usually target young people who are already struggling or vulnerable. This could be children who are struggling at home or having difficulties with family or friendship groups or children who are “looked after”, have addiction concerns or having no friends.

Grooming usually starts out with someone befriending a young person, this can be face to face or online. Abusers are very good at gaining trust and often use tactics such as buying gifts or supplying alcohol and drugs to manipulate victims into doing things for them over time.

Sexual exploitation includes any situation where someone is manipulating or forcing you into doing something sexual. This could be asking you to send semi-naked or naked pictures of yourself or to do something sexual with them or with another person. This person may be a friend, or they may be your partner – it is still wrong for them to force you to behave in a certain way.

If you have been exploited or if you feel that you are in situation where you might be taken advantage of, we are here to help. You might feel embarrassed about what has happened or you may be scared to speak to anyone. Remember, this is not your fault.

Help and support

The best thing you can do is to tell someone. You might feel afraid, confused or too scared to do anything about your situation but telling someone you trust is the best way forward. Talk to an adult you can trust and ask for help or contact us directly. You can speak to us in confidence and we will find the best way forward together, please contact us.