Grooming & Sextorsion

The term "grooming" is generally understood to refer to adults contacting young people via chatrooms or social media and pretending to be the same age as their potential victim. They seek to establish a relationship of trust with their underage victims to convince them to perform sexual acts, such as sending nude photos.

"Sextorsion" works in a similar way to grooming, but has a different aim. As with grooming, adults contact children and young people pretending to be around the same age as them so their victims send them sexual photos and videos of themselves. As soon as they receive the images, the perpetrators use them to force their victim to send more images or pay a sum of money to prevent the images being disseminated or sent to friends and loved ones.

As the perpetrators of grooming and sextorsion are sometimes very effective in their approach, it is not easy to expose their exploits. However, there are plenty of tips for young people and their parents:

  • Never share nude photos or intimate videos, even with people your own age.
  • Avoid communicating with people you do not know via chatrooms or social media, particularly if their profile does not contain much information.
  • Reveal as little information as possible about your private life.
  • Do not accept gifts.
  • Do not answer overly intimate questions.
  • Do not believe everything.
  • Remember, anyone can conceal their identity on the Internet.
  • If you have been a victim of grooming or sextorsion, contact the Police immediately.
  • Do not pay any money, make sure to save the messages and screenshots, block the perpetrator and ask someone you trust for help.

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