Erasmus+ Programme


Grooming is the online practice, exerted deliberately by an adult, of establishing a relationship and emotional control over a minor, with the intention of abusing of them and/or to make a profit from it.

Groomers (people who exert this kind of activity in order to damage the child) can be either men or women, regardless of age or socioeconomic status. This kind of actions can happen online and offline. Most of the time, groomers invest an enormous amount of time in gaining a child's trust. They use a number of strategies, namely pretending to be someone else, being understanding and offering advice, giving presents… They always use devices in order to do so and they get away with it because teenagers are unaware of the risk of using such devices.

Groomers seduce children through persuasive speech and get their personal and contact details. Little by little, they start sending pornographic images, and manage to make the child perform sexual acts. Groomers resort to “secrets” in order to control and scare the minor, who feels ashamed or guilty and does not report the abuse.

There are two aspects in grooming: physical and psychological. Physical Grooming involves gradual desensitisation to touch and sexualisation of the contact. Psychological Grooming is used to achieve this increased sexualisation through the use of bribes and threats.

The main risks minors face in grooming situations are the following:

Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.