This is not just NGC's first blog post but Pareece our Founders first blog.
If you are not sure what NGC (New Ground Creations) does or who Pareece Rose is we hope Google will help you out there. For now we are going to deal with the topic at hand.
My hope is that you the reader will understand the signs of grooming.
Definition: Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
Groomed and I didn't know!
I was 21 years of age, staring at the computer screen, with tears in my eyes as I uncovered the truths about Grooming as part of the online staff teacher training. Thankfully I was alone as I cried silently bec
ause it was then, for the first time that I understood what took place when I was aged 15 - 16 years old.
The relationship with a 19 year old male at age 15 was my first relationship (of 1.5 years) and my first intimate love. I traveled from Enfield in North London to see him weekly in Stratford, East London. Truth: I don't think all groomers know it to be an illegal crime, but I do think they know what they are doing to someone else isn't right.
I have also seen groomers groom younger people as a result of being groomed by someone else. So perhaps some groomers are vulnerable. The reality - parents warn you against strangers but groomers start as friends and become even closer.
We must equip our children to recognise healthy relationships versus abusive ones, and teach the values of mutual respect and equality. We must empower them with the confidence to trust their instincts and say what they are thinking and feeling, without fear of violence, recriminations and insults .
There are many signs that should be considered if you suspect you or a teen is being groomed, here are some below.
If a child is being groomed they may:
- Be very secretive, including about what they are doing online or in person
Q: Are you/they really at church, the youth club, after-school club, the sleepover or somewhere else?
- Have older boyfriends or girlfriends or a negative friendship circle
- Go to unusual places to meet friends
- Sexual / unexplained relationships with older people.
- Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults. (They don't have to be strangers but shouldn't be so comfortable around you or the person in question)
- Defensive or hostile in relationship with parents/carers, teachers and other family members.
- Adults or older youths loitering outside the child’s usual place of residence.
With Finances and Belongings:
- Have new things such as clothes or mobile phones that they can't or won't explain
Q: If they bought it where is the receipt? If a gift why and who from?
- Petty crime e.g. shoplifting, stealing.
- Having keys to other premises.
- Possession of large amounts of money or expensive goods with no plausible explanation.
- Clothing – inappropriate for age, borrowing clothing from others.
- Are they spending more time away from home or going missing for periods of time?
- Evidence of drug, alcohol or substance misuse.
- Low self-image, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour, e.g. cutting, overdosing, eating disorder, promiscuity.
- Physical symptoms (bruising suggestive of either physical or sexual assault).
- Returning after having been missing, looking well cared for.
Q: After questioning are they secretive and protective of their whereabouts?
I am interested in exploring this topic more. I have held information sessions and talks to parents and young people on this topic and child sexual exploitation.
If you or someone you know would benefit from talks like this or have any questions please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S your honest feedback would be so welcome. Thanks for reading.
I like to close with our mantra and ask you to remember to L.I.V.E -
Leave a legacy. innovate. Venture and Educate yourself and someone else.