Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus and Dr Cris Izura presented results from an online grooming communicative Project

Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus and Dr Cristina Izura lead the Online Grooming Communication (OGC) Project, which has carried out an examination of the language used by groomers to lure children so as to help understand the process better and develop effective interventions to detect and prevent online grooming.

Findings from their research were presented at the Festival in Swansea last Thursday 8th September.

Their research focuses on online grooming as a communicative process when an adult uses the internet to prepare a child and their environment for the abuse of that child – whether the abuse is on or off line.

Professor Lorenzo-Dus said: “We have carried out a detailed analysis of the language used by more than 100 online groomers which  shows that they are skilled communicators who use a range of strategies, including seemingly innocuous ‘small talk’ to develop a sense of trust in them; requests and commands to gauge the children’s disposition to meet online groomers’ desires for verbal or visual sexual engagement; and compliments on various topics to increase feelings of trust and emotional bonding.”

While there is potential for all children to be at risk from online grooming, it is maybe unsurprising that the most common type of grooming is that of male predators grooming female victims.  However the research has dispelled a number of myths surrounding the process.

Click here for 'theguardian' article on this event