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Online grooming: New trends in online sexual abuse

October 30, 2015

Child sex offenders are grooming children for the purposes of online sexual abuse, with more using social media apps and smartphones, according to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. Offenders may target hundreds of children at a time in order to satisfy their sexual fantasies and once initial contact is made, this often rapidly escalates into threats and intimidation. Children who are groomed into performing sexual activity online can feel ashamed, that they have lost control, desperate or even become suicidal.

Risk-taking by young people is the key factor in their vulnerability to grooming and potential contact with child sex offender. Adolescents who take risks online by having sexualised chats or exchanging sexual images are particularly prone to the increasingly sophisticated, coercive and sinister tactics of online predators.

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