Online Predators and Grooming
Online grooming is when someone builds a relationship with a young person online and has control over that person emotionally, because they want to trick or pressure them into doing something that may hurt or harm them.
Who is at risk from online grooming?
Any young person and even some adults can be at risk from grooming, regardless of age, gender, race, or location. Online grooming is wrong and never the fault of the victim.
How do groomers trick people?
Online groomers use many different methods. They may use fake accounts and photos or say they enjoy the same hobbies and interests as the young person they are grooming. Others may pretend to be modelling scouts, sports coaches, celebrities, or influencers. However, not all groomers will choose to hide who they really are, and some may try to build a connection or develop a ‘mentor’ type relationship based on their identity and a motto of “you’re not alone” to provide on reassuring feelings.
Wherever possible, limit contact online to people you know and trust and use privacy settings to protect your personal accounts and content.
If someone online is pressuring you or a friend, or making you feel uncomfortable, speak to an adult you trust straight away.
If you or a friend are in contact with someone online who you do not know offline, do not share personal information such as where you live, go to school or photos of yourself.
If someone who you only know online asks to meet up with you or a friend, speak to an adult you trust straight away.
Remember that you can report any suspected grooming to the police.
Online Predators Abuse
Online predators are individuals who commit online child sexual abuse on the Internet. These could happen on any online platform, such as social media, gaming, or messaging apps, and could include content such as photos, videos, posts, webpages, messages, or fake profiles.
What type of behaviors does Online Predators include?
Online Predators use explicit content to harass or bully or blackmail children online.
It happened...what should I do next?
Talk to someone: It can be hard asking for help, but in a situation like this it is important. Family members, school staff and your friends all want to make sure you are safe. For them to help you they need to know the whole story. Let them know what has happened, what you are worried about and what you need help with.
Use the reporting tools: There are tools available online to help you. Sexual harassment is never acceptable – online or offline. To deal with it, online platforms such as social media and gaming networks should be notified where inappropriate content resides and why it should be removed. If the content breaks terms and conditions, it will be taken down.
There are laws to protect people online affected by online predators. Any incident that is reported to police will be treated on a case-by-case basis and the online predators will be punished accordingly.