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Adult Grooming

Adult Grooming


Grooming is a form of abuse that involves manipulating someone until they’re isolated, dependent, and more vulnerable to exploitation. 

Adult grooming is a process where the abuser will pick on a person and start to gain their trust, friendship or even their employment. As it often starts with friendship, it is sometimes difficult to identify and even the person who is being groomed may not realise what is happening. You may have heard this referred to as Mate Crime. 

Here’s some of the signs of grooming you should look out for:

  • The person becomes withdrawn, or they may seem troubled by something but unwilling to talk about it. Alternatively, their emotions might become more volatile.
  • You notice them using or wearing something new, that you didn’t buy for them.
  • Groomers often aim to isolate their targets from their family or friends. If they seem reluctant to see you, or they refuse a visit, it might be because someone’s manipulating them.
  • You notice that sums of money have disappeared from the person’s bank account, or the person claims they cannot pay for food or bills.
  • The person might be spending more time on the phone, or online, than usual. But they won’t say what sites they’re visiting, or who they’re talking to.
  • They start talking about a new “friend”, “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, and it’s not clear who they are or how they met them.


Grooming can take place in person or online, where the abuser will often pretend to be somebody else, this is sometimes referred to as Catfishing. There may be many reasons why somebody sets out to groom another person, some of these reasons may be to financially abuse or sexually abuse. Grooming can also be used to encourage people to commit acts of crime on behalf of the abuser or acts of terrorism.
Whatever the reason for grooming, it often starts with friendship leading on to power and control with the intention to exploit and abuse the person.


The Ann Craft Trust has lots more information on Adult Grooming, why it can happen and what to do if you are concerns. Please visit their website