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Grooming: Just the facts

It’s important to know what a healthy relationship is and what might not be.

Get clued up to the signs of what’s not healthy and protect yourself and your friends.

If someone gives you something in return for sex, sexual activities or sexual photos that’s an unhealthy relationship. They could offer you presents or money, food, alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes; they could give you affection – making you feel special; or they could involve you in an activity that’s exciting or fun. This applies to people the same age as you or older people.

It sounds like it would be easy to spot, but relationships can change over time and become unhealthy with people trying to take advantage of you. Someone might gain your trust by building an emotional bond with you and gradually begin to exploit you. This is known as grooming. You might get to know the person face-to-face or online and trust can build very quickly or it can happen slowly over many months. It can be really hard to know if you’re being taken advantage of and often young people being groomed think they’re in a good relationship.

Did you know?

If someone gives you something in return for sex, sexual activities or sexual photos that’s called child sexual exploitation. It can happen to anyone of any gender, age, sexual orientation, or background.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.