How To Recognize Grooming Online
Grooming is most often known to be done in an offline, face-to-face setting. As technology continues to evolve, so are these predators that now prefer to search for their victims online. In essence, grooming is a serious issue that even makes the victim unaware that they are being groomed in the first place. It is an act of a sexual offender to establish a trust between its victims through an emotional connection—often serves as a confidant—to fulfill their plans of sexually abusing them. Victims, however, are not grownups but children who may seemingly be naive to trust people easily.
Groomers do not fit in one single description. They may be of any gender and age. While it can take place between a child and a stranger, groomers may also be somebody a child personally know; perhaps a friend or even a family member.
How Grooming Takes Place
Groomers invest a significant amount of time in order to gain the trust. As mentioned, the act of grooming may be held face to face as well as offline. At first, they would try to strike a conversation with the child and pretend that they are just about the same age. They would thoroughly check out the profile page of the child so that they may use it to establish a relationship further.
Groomers would typically look for usernames suggesting promiscuousness. Moreover, they search for those comments that imply a child’s low self-esteem. In that case, they would try to relate to the child in which they offer comfort and pieces of advice, which ultimately helps in building a relationship. Contrary to popular belief, groomers have no particular target; they only act upon the situation when some of their potential victims respond back, out of hundreds of messages sent to different people.
Likewise, groomers may shower their victims with gifts as well as trips. However, to do the latter, they may need to earn the trust of the child’s family members to be allowed to go out of town with them.
Signs To Look Out For In Your Child
Children may display the following behavior that suggests that they are being groomed:
• They do not let anyone check, let alone hold, their mobile phones
• Suddenly wear revealing clothes
• Being a relationship with someone who’s older than them
• Going out without telling anyone
• Receiving new items such as gadgets and clothing without a concrete explanation of where they got them
In some cases, it may appear normal and these aforementioned signs may not be detected early by parents.
Keep Tabs On Your Child’s Phone Activities
We suggest parents use a parental control application called Spyzie to keep accurate tabs on their children. Thus you´ll be able to see who your kid is talking to on social media as well as track their location. Spyzie is every responsible parent’s partner in making the Internet a safe place for their children.