Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation.

Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know - for example a family member, friend or professional.

Groomers may be male or female. They could be any age.

Many children and young people don't understand that they have been groomed, or that what has happened is abuse.

 

Read more about grooming

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Help and advice

Signs, symptoms and effects

Find out more about the signs, symptoms and effects of grooming
Spotting signs of grooming

Keeping children safe

How to help keep children safe from grooming
Keeping children safe from grooming

Children's stories

"I think they underestimated what they would get from her but she is a very smart, switched-on little girl."

Read Rachel's story

What we do about grooming

Protect and Respect

For young people who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation or who have been sexually exploited.
Protect and Respect service

Letting the Future In

Letting the Future In helps children who have been sexually abused.
Letting the Future In service

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Childline

Childline is our free, confidential helpline for children and young people. Whenever children need us, Childline is there for them – by phone, email or live chat.

0800 1111

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Speak out. Stay safe.

Our programme (formerly Childline Schools Service) uses specially trained staff and volunteers to talk to primary school children about abuse.
Speak Out. Stay Safe.

Sexual abuse

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Read more about sexual abuse

Let's talk PANTS!

The Underwear Rule - #TalkPANTS - is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse. Join Pantosaurus and parents talking PANTS.
Find out about PANTS

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It's Time to demand change

Up to 90% of children who've been abused will develop mental health issues by the time they're 18.

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