Groomers are patient. They’re often intelligent, friendly, and helpful. They don’t want to get caught – but they may push the limit to see how much they can get away with without being caught. They seek to establish an abusive relationship with a child that will be repetitive.Predatory offenders, especially, are invested in their pursuit – meaning, their whole image that they put off to the public is simply to deceive. The deception of adults is part of their game and often provides them with a feeling of satisfaction.


Groomers Confuse, Coerce, and Control

They look for or have access to a child:


  • Who doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong sexual behavior.
  • Who would be afraid if their abuser threatens them or their family.
  • Who feels that they can’t say no because their abuser is someone they trust.
  • Who will keep a secret.
  • Who lacks a sense of affection/attention from parents and can be brainwashed into believing the abuser loves them.
  • Who will be too embarrassed or ashamed to tell his/her parents.
  • Who has a history of rebellion and may not be believed if they told.

“Molesters of little girls have been known to convince the victims that this overpowered, manipulated child is the only person who can arouse or satisfy the man. Female victims of this ruse perpetrated by a father or stepfather recall feeling as if it was their responsibility to keep the family intact, or that it had become their “job” within the family to keep the other kids safe from his advances.”
– Janet Rosenzweig, “The Sex-Wise Parent”

Groomers Seek to Gain Trust

Many abusers rely on the trust of adults, especially parents. They need you to trust them with your child, because the last thing they want is to be suspected or questioned. They are often friendly, helpful people because they want you to feel comfortable around them. They may establish themselves in the community as reliable and charitable in order to establish a comfort zone, where even if they were accused of abuse, no one would believe it.An abuser can be a spouse, an extended family member, a friend, a romantic interest, a neighbor, a friend, a coach, or anyone that will have direct access to your child and the ability to develop a relationship with them. A person may even befriend or show romantic interest in you, to gain access to your children.


Groomers will Confuse and Control Others

  • They may go above and beyond to appear nice, helpful, charitable, religious so that if abuse is suspected people will stand by them and defend them.
  • Some use their authority or power to oppress others that suspect or know of the abuse that is occurring.
  • They may seek out single mothers and try to fill the “fatherly” role the child is missing.
  • They may suggest to the parents or others that the child is disturbed, unstable, or a liar to discredit them if they were to tell someone.
  • Some abusers are excellent at remaining calm and appear to understand the accuser’s “motive” for alleging the abuse.
  • They may try to convince others that the child is unstable or prone toward lying so that they would not be believed if they told.
  • Some will even groom police, DSS, & CPS workers to believing them over the victim.

     Sections on this page have been adapted from TheMamaBearEffect.



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