STAYING SAFE ONLINE

Online grooming is when someone uses the internet to trick, force or pressure a young person into doing something sexual – like sending a naked video or image of themselves. This is wrong.

Someone who’s grooming others online will sometimes build their trust before talking about doing anything sexual. It’s not easy to know if someone’s trying to groom you, but no matter what’s happening, we can help.

WHAT’S ONLINE GROOMING?

Anyone can groom another person. A ‘groomer’ is someone who makes an emotional connection with someone to try and make you do things like:

  • have sexual conversations online or by text messages
  • send naked images of yourself, which is sometimes called sexting
  • send sexual videos of yourself
  • do something sexual live on webcam
  • meet up with them in person.
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They might be old, or young. And they can be male or female. 

Most of us talk to people online – it’s a great way to stay connected. It can even be a good way of making new friends sometimes. But it’s really important to understand the dangers of talking to someone you don’t know.

If you send someone sexual photos or videos of yourself, you lose control over what happens to them. The other person may end up sharing them with other people who might then keep sharing them.

Someone could even use images you’ve sent to blackmail you. For example, they may say that they’ll post them online if you don’t keep sending more images. But we can help.

If you’re under 18 and someone posts an explicit or nude image online you can make a report to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). They can contact the website to try and remove it without getting anyone involved.

Who could I talk to for more advice at the centre:

Please feel free to speak to one of our Youth work staff or Designated Safeguarding leads for more advice or guidance.

You can contact a DSL on the following details:

  • Louise Wylie (Centre Manager, DSL) Louise.kaufman@youngleicestershire.org.uk
  • Keanan Bartram (Assistant Leader, DSL) Keanan.Bartram@eyresmonsellcyp.co.uk
  • Paul Carlton (Deputy Manager, DDSL) Paul.carlton@youngleicestershire.org.uk
  • Tel: 0116 277 9190
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