What is Grooming?

What is Grooming?


The Grooming It is the Anglo-Saxon term used to describe the process by which a sex offender selects and prepares a child to abuse him.

Criminals of this type use a variety of manipulation and control techniques towards the vulnerable person, in this case a child, in order to gain their confidence and normalize harmful sexual behavior.


  • 1 Grooming of sex offenders
  • 2 The way criminals start Grooming
  • 3 Keep the secret of abuse
  • 4 Prevent Grooming

Grooming of sex offenders

Studies on how these sex offenders work have shown that the tactics used to select the child who is going to be their victim are deliberate and often seek to identify the most vulnerable children, such as those who are less able to talk to someone about abuse, those who are needy, helpless or who feel upset about something.

There is a whole series of specific techniques that criminals use to mask their behavior before the assault, but also during and after it. One tactic that has been observed in Grooming is that many abusers they offer an image of great kindness, becoming outstanding people within the community thanks to providing selfless help to other people, in short, someone that nobody would suspect for a moment that could be a sex offender. Working and helping the communication is a tactic that also offers a wide range of possibilities, since it allows you to enter it and participate in a series of social activities within schools, youth groups, churches, etc., They give you easy access to a number of possible victims without being suspicious. This double life causes parents, educators and other people to lower their guard and allow them access to their children without suspecting anything.. It is also important to keep in mind that most criminals are known to the family, and all too often they are family members.

The second tactic is their ability to to be charming and pleasant, radiating a halo of sincerity and truthfulness. This is crucial in obtaining access to children, so the power of this tactic should not be underestimated. Some criminals will try to establish relationships regularly with people much younger than themselves, since they prefer the company of children to that of adults.

The way criminals start Grooming

Sex offenders recruit children by establishing a relationship of trust, for example, spending a lot of time with them, listening to them ... They can treat them as someone 'special', giving them gifts and congratulating them often. They also use gifts and deception to silence them about everything related to sexual abuse, keeping it as a secret between the two. All these manipulations usually isolate the child from siblings, friends and even parents. The offender can also establish a relationship of trust with the family and friends of the child, in order to have access to the child when he is alone. In this way, once the aggressor manages to have the confidence of the child and the family, it will be much easier for him to sexually abuse the child. It is also important to remember that the offender You often earn family trust in a similar way, buying gifts or helping at home.

Sex offenders often plan to abuse children carefully. They can gradually make approximations and gradually exceed the limits. For example, they may spend a lot of time with the child when they are bathing, dressing or going to bed. They can kiss and hug you often. There may also be some inappropriate 'accidental' touching or sexual contact as a game. You may have talks or make sexual jokes, as well as tickle, wrestling, or any other game that requires physical contact with the child, as if it were a sign of affection. If the abuse does not stop, the behavior moves towards increasingly intimate acts.

Keep the secret of abuse

After gaining the child's trust and starting the abuse on an ongoing basis, the aggressor teaches him, through threats, manipulation, blackmail, bribery and punishment, to keep these acts secret. He assures the child that what is happening is the 'right' thing, and convinces him that if he says something about sexual abuse, something terrible is going to happen to his family, he tells him that it will hurt them or their pets. At the same time, he makes the little one believe that he has given his consent and that they are in a 'relationship', or even that it was he who initiated the relationship. In this way the criminals blame their despicable acts on the child. The child may then feel responsible for the abuse, and feel ashamed or afraid to tell someone.

Prevent Grooming

Sometimes it is important to follow our instinct and investigate any hint or suspicion we have, however small.

Sometimes parents may be afraid of how their children will react if they forbid them from seeing a person they like, but if we are concerned about the type of relationship that person is having with the child, we must be willing to prevent all contact immediately. It is also important to listen to the statements or questions that our child can ask us to determine if our suspicions are well founded, and to encourage the child to give us more information about what he does while he is with that person.

Something tremendously useful is teach the child some prevention tools to help him identify inappropriate behavior, and explain ways in which they can say no or protect themselves if someone makes them feel uncomfortable.

We must bear in mind that the manipulative tactics that the aggressors put in place are so strong, that the little ones are almost never aware that sexual abuse practices are not something “normal” and believe that it happens to all children. It may be years before they are able to understand that what is happening is a bad thing.. Many times they are not aware of this until they learn what sexual behavior is, whether it be through education classes at school, watching television programs or talking with the family.

When someone, unfortunately, discovers that his son has been sexually assaulted, a whole series of emotions invade him from state of shockto anger guilt, frustration, shame, fear and pain. That is why it is often convenient to seek professional help not only for the child, but also for the family.