It’s just the first step towards child sexual abuse, and it’s a behaviour that needs to be interrupted.
Adults are responsible for protecting children from sexual abuse so it’s important to recognize behaviours, such as a sexual text messages, that present risk. By questioning these interactions by adults towards children you’re, at the least, correcting an inappropriate behaviour, and at the worst, stopping a sexual offence before it happens.
Grooming is a method used by offenders that involves building trust with a child, and the adults around them, in an effort to gain access to and control the child. Offenders groom children to manipulate them into becoming a cooperative participant, reducing the likelihood of the child telling and increasing the likelihood the child will repeatedly return to the offender. Offenders groom adults around the child to make it easier to gain access to the child.
Grooming is really the start of the sexual abuse/exploitation process, and is a damaging part of the sexual abuse experience.
But is child sexual abuse really a problem? In short, yes. Child sexual abuse is more prevalent than most Canadians might like to believe. Research shows about 1 in 10 children in Canada were sexually victimized before they turned 181 and in the vast majority of cases the offender is known to the child.2
In the past two years, Cybertip.ca analysts have classified 305 reports as luring, an attempt made by offenders to gain access to children. Of those reports:
Offenders use a multitude of tactics to manipulate children into complying with their requests. Through operating Cybertip.ca several common techniques have emerged:
Absolutely not. Grooming is used by offenders to gain access to and sexually abuse children wherever children are — sport, school, daycare, youth group, etc. Some recent examples include:
In the past year, more than ever it’s being brought to light that sport presents as a high risk area for attracting individuals who are looking to gain access to and exploit children. A 2019 joint investigation by CBC News and Sports revealed at least 222 coaches who were involved in amateur sports in Canada have been convicted of sexual offences in the past 20 years involving more than 600 victims under the age of 18.3
To learn more about sexual abuse in sport and what can be done to stop it, visit commit2kids.ca.
According to a study conducted by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection approximately 750 cases involving sexual offences against a minimum of 1,200 children occurred between 1997 and 2017 by about 714 employees working in Canadian K–12 schools.
To read the final results of the study, Child Sexual Abuse by K–12 School Personnel in Canada, click here.
It’s a normal reaction to avoid something that makes you feel uncomfortable, but, keep in mind, there is a child that needs your protection: