Grooming is a carefully prepared planning process like a “courtship” delivered over time where both a child and its family are targeted by the abuser. The sex abuser establishes a false trust and a “special” friendship is established between the three parties to create a safe environment for abuse to take place. Most cases of abuse are established through the abuser’s “grooming” ritual, it is the preamble to sexual abuse.
Abusers need to be sure that targeted children never release any information about the eventual sexual activities. They do this by cunning manipulation of trust – of both parents and children – and by distorting the essence of secrets. Parents and carers are often “groomed” to gain their trust BEFORE the target child is “groomed”.
Here’s what one young victim, who was successfully “groomed” for years along with his family, had to say:
“How could I have said No? I didn’t know I had said ‘Yes’!” I thought he was my best friend. I never had a friend like him before, and nobody had ever made me feel that special! It didn’t feel like abuse. Only when I was older did I understand what had been happening.”