About Online Grooming

Grooming is the process of befriending and establishing an emotional connect in slow, methodical and intentional process of manipulating a person to a point where they can be sexually victimized by the online predator.

As digital world find new ways to connect with each other, discover new things and be creative on a range of devices and platforms it is increasingly important to be smarter and make safer choices about whom you talk to and what you share online, especially with an increase of groomers online. Groomers are very skilled at what they do and can often befriend a child by appearing to have the same hobbies and interests as them. Using fake accounts and photos, they may also pose to be as the same age as the child. Some children can get attracted at first by the attention given to them by the new online friend and if they engage, they are often asked to speak more privately with the groomer, whether that be away from an online game, or a different social network. They even offer the child help within a game in order to receive card details of a family member. Often children may not understand that they are being groomed.

Children who tend be less careless may put themselves at great risk by communicating online with individuals they do not know in person. Internet predators intentionally access sites that children tend to visit and can even search for potential targets. Online predators will focus on those who are vulnerable. Social networking sites are designed to share personal information, providing a way for online offenders to target those who make themselves vulnerable, for example, by not having privacy settings in place.

Why should we be concerned?

The victim is traumatized and suffers immensely both mentally and physically due to the sexual exploitation.

Let's see the different stages of child online grooming. However, 'friends' made online may not be who they say they are. This can be a difficult concept for you as a child to understand.


Online perpetrators target a Child

Perpetrators may target and exploit a child's perceived vulnerabilities including: emotional neediness, isolation, neglect, a chaotic home life, or lack of parental oversight, etc.

The offender will pay special attention to or give preference to a child.

Gain the Child's Trust

Perpetrators work to gain the trust of parents to lower suspicion and gain access to the you by providing seemingly warm yet calculated attention/support. The perpetrator gains trust by gathering information about you, getting to know your needs, and finding ways to fill those needs.

"I saw you reading the new batman comic. I'm planning to go see the new movie, I can take you if you want to watch the movie."

Fill a Need

Once the perpetrator begins to fill the  needs, they may assume noticeably more importance in the child's life. Perpetrators utilize tactics such as gift giving, flattery, gifting money, and meeting other basic needs. Tactics may also include increased attention and affection towards the target.

"I know you love jewelry so I got you this watch."

Isolate the Child

The perpetrator uses isolation tactics to reinforce their relationship with you by creating situations in which they are alone together. The perpetrator may reinforce the relationship with you by cultivating a sense that they love and understand you in a way that others, even your parents, cannot. The perperator may even tell that no one cares for you the way they do, not even your parents.

"You can trust me because no one understands you the way I do."

Sexualize the Relationship

Once emotional dependence and trust have been built, the perpetrator progressively sexualizes the relationship. This occurs through talking, pictures, and creating situations in which both are naked (swimming). The adult exploits the child's natural curiosity and trust using stimulation to advance the sexual nature of the relationship.


Maintain Control

Once sexual abuse is occurring, perpetrators commonly use secrecy, blame, and threats to maintain participation and continued silence. In order to maintain control, perpetrators use emotional manipulation; they make you believe they are the only person who can meet their emotional and material needs. You may fear the loss of the relationship, or the consequences of exposing it, will be more damaging and humiliating than continuing the unhealthy relationship.

"If you tell anyone, we both could go to jail, We won't be able to be together." Or "If you tell anyone, something bad could happen to your family."


Now that you understand the basics of child grooming, what you need to do if you see grooming behaviors or if your gut is telling you something is wrong?

  • Special Attention Given to you
  • Giving gifts with or without any reason
  • Touching or Hugging
  • Sympathetic listener
  • Offers to help family

Few pointers / warning signs to indicate that the person is victimized

  • absence from school and low performance in studies
  • Agitated and violent behavior with symptoms of withdrawal and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • use of sexual words while talking
  • browsing sexual content on websites
  • chatting or talking to unknown people who are not in child's close circle
  • being secretive and isolated

What to do

It is very important to talk to your parents or teachers if you are facing any of these issues, so that they know and can help and guide you accordingly while enjoying the benefits of online world.

  • They can help you to deal with problems like someone online makes you feel uncomfortable
  • It is OK to trust your instincts
  • If something feels odd or strange then it probably is

How can we safeguard ourselves against online grooming?

The act of cyber grooming is a understated way in which the online predator very tactfully befriends a child to make them fall into their trap. The parents need to clearly understand the serious implications it can have and take appropriation caution to warn the child about safety measures.

  • Be very cautious when interacting with unknown people online, confirm the identity of the person through your friends circle.
  • If an online contact is being too good to you, claiming to share same interests, likes & dislikes and shows interest in meeting your personally, it is a warning sign.
  • Never agree to personally meet a stranger who has befriended you online.
  • In case you experience some thing uncomfortable, immediately cutoff all contacts with this person, inform your parents.
  • You can contact the social media administrators ( Facebook, twitter etc.,) and report to them regarding the same for appropriate action.
    Social Media Help Centre URLs: https://www.facebook.com/help/; https://help.twitter.com/en;https://help.instagram.com/
  • Contact the helpline number 1098, provided by Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Do not suffer in silence know that you are not alone, take help of friends or parents and initiate action

What is the action to be taken in case we are affected by this offence?

a) Register a complaint at your nearest cyber crime police station
b) You also have the option to register an online complaint on cybercrime.gov.in anonymously also.
c) Report about it to the social media account help centre
Social Media Help Centre URLs:https://www.facebook.com/help/ ; https://help.twitter.com/en;https://help.instagram.com/
d) Immediately cut off all contacts with the online predators and inform your parents or elders.

Know about what the law says with regard to this offence?

The act of grooming may include activities that are legal, but later lead to sexual abuse. It can attract section S.354D IPC (in case the perpetrator had been stalking the victim for the purpose of grooming) 67 /67A , under I.T. Amendment Act 2008. POCSO Act, 2012 may also be invoked in such cases.

Remember that Good friends’ don't make you do things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Page Rating (Votes : 22)
Your rating: