Online grooming is probably not something you want to think about it. But seriously, think about it. After all, do you really know who’s chatting online to your child right now?
Online grooming is usually associated with paedophiles, a term defined as, when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation.
That’s the dictionary definition. In real-life, the devastating effect it has on a child or young person, is something quite different. It will shatter their life.
Today, online grooming has a whole new use. Radicalising young, impressionable minds by extremists. If you’re young and struggling to find your place in the world, and someone appears to that understand you, that makes you vulnerable. Many children and young people are unaware they are being controlled. Groomers will hide their true intentions, often spending a long time gaining a young person’s trust, slowly manipulating their thoughts so they can begin introducing their twisted ideologies.
As a parent and a woman, you can do something to stop the flow of new recruits being influenced extremist groups. By recognising the telltale signs of a child at risk, you can help build-up their resilience to online extremist material and keep them safe. And if your worse fears are confirmed that extremist groups are influencing your child, then you can get all the support and practical you need to break their hold on their young life.
At WARN, we can help you put a stop to it.
Keeping children safe from online grooming
Our workshop teaches mothers to know what’s what and how to spot the signs of radicalisation. It walks them through the simple steps they need to make sure their children stay safe online. From explaining how social networks work, to how to restrict what your children are able to access online and the signs to look out for if you think your child is being radicalised.
Then there’s how to best discuss the risks of online grooming with your children, without making them feel pressured. Actual cases are used as tools to show how to spot the risks and the right time to intervene.
Online grooming can take place via chat rooms, instant messaging, social networking sites and email. By going through a step-by-step guide to the Internet and social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, you will be equipped with the necessary skills to protect your family from online grooming, and will have a better understanding of how to combat the extremist ideologies that are being spread on the Internet.