Child sexual grooming on the rise

Young women falling prey to sexual grooming has risen at an alarming rate.

According to the latest figures by police in England and Wales, almost 2,000 incidents of online sexual grooming occurred with children in the six months to September 2018. In Wales, nearly 400 online grooming offences have been recorded by police in 18 months, according to data obtained by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Sophia Vahdati is the friend of a victim of sexual grooming. She recalls the horrific account of her friend’s sexual abuses.

“She was only 10 years old when her piano teacher started touching her inappropriately. But as a 10-year-old I don’t think she really understood what was wrong. She just felt strange. On top of the harassment, he always threatened her not to tell anyone and that no one will ever believe her”.

Photo: CNP

Sophia noted the childhood trauma that Christina went through,  affected her adult years. It became unbearable at one point that suicide seemed the easiest way to eliminate the pain.

Another Victim who we are calling Sandra, speaks for the first time on her sexual harassment by one of her father’s close friend. She shared this email to Cardiff News Plus on how her groomer started assaulting her by establishing an emotional connection in the form of compliments before pressuring her with harassment.

“He was 56, married, and I was 14 when he started making me compliments, at first, they were about my intellectual abilities, then it started to be more and more related to my physical aspect. It didn’t sound to me suspect as I was not aware at that time of such terms as sexual grooming or sexual assault”

Christina and Sandra are just two of many other young girls who are suffering in silence the irreversible experiences of sexual exploitation.

Charity campaigns in the UK such as National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children NSPCC, Cymru are raising awareness on child sexual grooming. However, they say more needs to be done by the government.

Joe Sealey, Childline Supervisor, NSPCC. Photo: CNP

Joe Sealey, NSPCC Cymru Childline Supervisor says social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are usually the hunting ground for online predators.

“We are a lot more focused on making social media sites safe for young children where they can go and feel safe. If these sites are not safe, we want them to be held accountable”.

Campaigners say much more needs to be done to send out a clear message to sexual predators. They say victims need to be taken seriously and perpetrators must be brought to the face of justice to end the existence of sexual grooming.

Otherwise more young people like Christina might end up taking their own life.

All the names of the victims in this story have been changed in order to protect their privacy.

This entry was posted in News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.