Online Grooming

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    Signs of grooming

    Every situation is different. And online groomers can be really good at lying about who they are. Which means it can be difficult to know if someone is an online friend, or if they're trying to get you to send them sexual images or videos.

    If a groomer is trying to get you to share sexual images or do something sexual, often they'll:

    • Send you lots of messages
      This could be really often and they might message you in lots of different ways, for example through Facebook, text messaging and chat rooms
    • Ask you to keep your conversations secret
      They might ask you not to tell anyone that you're talking to them and say that it's your 'special secret.' They might also ask you if you trust them
    • Try to find out more
      Ask you who else uses your computer or which room your computer is in, to find out if they could get caught by your parents or carers
    • Start sending you sexual messages
      This might be really subtle at first. They could start to say nice things about your appearance or your body or ask things like "have you ever been kissed?"
    • Try to blackmail you
      They might try to persuade you to send sexual images of yourself by saying they'll be hurt or upset if you don't. If you've sent images of yourself already, they could threaten to post your images online or show them to people you know if you don't send them more.

    It can be difficult to understand when grooming is happening, the signs aren't always clear to spot. If you want to speak to someone you can trust about grooming, you can speak to one of of Childline counsellors. they're here to listen and give you the support you need. And remember - you haven't done anything wrong. 

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