What if this is happening to someone I know?

The signs of grooming aren't always obvious and groomers will often go to great lengths not to be identified.

If a child is being groomed they may:

  • Be very secretive, including about what they are doing online
  • Have older boyfriends or girlfriends
  • Go to unusual places to meet friends
  • Have new things such as clothes or mobile phones that they can't or won't explain
  • Have access to drugs and alcohol.

In older children, signs of grooming can easily be mistaken for 'normal' teenage behaviour, but you may notice unexplained changes in behaviour or personality, or inappropriate sexual behaviour for their age.

Things you may notice

  • Withdrawn
  • Suddenly behaves differently
  • Anxious
  • Clingy
  • Depressed
  • Aggressive
  • Problems sleeping
  • Eating disorders
  • Wets the bed
  • Soils clothes
  • Takes risks
  • Misses school
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Obsessive behaviour
  • Nightmares
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Self-harm
  • Thoughts about suicide

Also See

What if this is happening to me?

Grooming is when someone falsely gains your trust to persuade or trick you into doing something sexual with them.

Learn More

Grooming Case Study

Tomas Speed, aged 19 and described as a loner, naïve and immature, began a friendship on Facebook with a 12 year old female.

Learn More

Grooming Quiz

Take the grooming quiz.