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Grooming

‘Grooming’ a child is common practice amongst abusers, who will spend time and effort to first gain a child’s trust by giving compliments, pretending to be someone who understands them, giving them treats, moving on to finding time alone with the child and then insidiously  compel them to do as she or he is told. Often bribes or threats are used to maintain compliance. This happens so stealthily that the child does not know what is happening until the abuse begins and they are caught in the rapist's trap. Statistically, children are much more likely to be abused by a family member, friend of the family or carer, than by a stranger.

 

Children are taught to listen to adults, to do what they are told and to trust them. A child will believe an adult who manipulates them into thinking that bad things will happen if they tell anyone what is going on. Child rapists are adept at knowing what to say to children to maintain their silence and compliance. 

A vital part of a child rapist's tactics is to groom the adults who protect children. No one would suspect someone who looks like you and appears ‘normal’ and sociable. We all think we would be able to spot a child molester when in fact s/he will go out of their way to appear as upstanding as possible, otherwise no one would let their children get close to them.

 

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