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So what is Grooming?

Before we start, we need to understand that the basis of most relationships is trust. There are thousands of different relationships that we have throughout our lives. Some of them good and some of them bad. However, they all play a valuable part in our overall experience of life. Without relationships we would be cyborgs, void to any emotion or need other than to survive. The relationships that we build are based largely on the similarity or lack of similarity of our values and beliefs.


When we initiate a new relationship, we put aside our values and beliefs in order to establish enough rapport to create the trust that we need. For example, when we look for a new partner, how many of us put aside our core values, just to get past first base? 


So many relationships fail because the core values and beliefs differ over time and they can tend to have various conflicts that cannot be resolved.

For young people understanding beliefs and values at an early age can be challenging. Many perceived temporary values can change on a ad-hoc basis and this can create challenges in relationships. 


A good example would be, when a young person changes his/her values from being part of a collective such a gang, to pursuing a career or different relationship. This change in values and beliefs can an almost certainly will produce conflicts within the wider group. 

The introduction of peer pressure can result in more complexed demands. 


As adults we sometimes identify this behaviour in relationships which can include family, partners and friendships. Many adults enter into relationships that become one sided and manipulative, yet they are not quite sure of how they ended up there. So many of these relationships result in violence and abuse and end up leading to low self esteem, lack of confidence and a general feeling of being lost. The relationship can last many years. These types of relationships are particularly harmful, but challenging to leave as there may be additional factors such as children, financial obligations or simply fear that form the basis of the relationship. 


So it is important to understand the behaviour of such individuals and why they use specific skills and behaviours to manipulate others. 

Clean Skins and Cuckoo's

So, how easy would it be for a groomer to get you into a debt cycle? Groomers are particular when they are targeting. They will endeavour to look for people with vulnerable personalities. They are very confident that they can establish relationships fairly quickly and are acute at appearing to understand the areas such as family challenges, abuse and bereavement etc. A potential groomer will present as a shoulder to lean on, a friend in need or a support mechanism. 

A Clean Skin is a term often used to describe a newly initiated prospect. The term is used because a person with no experience of the intent, is more likely to fall prey and will probably have had no contact with the Law before. 

The objective of the grooming process is to create a friendship that offers support in such a way that it appears to be a genuine friendship or sexual relationship. This process is heavily dependant on creating a series of events that result in debt or abuse. Once an individual is in this grooming process, it can be difficult to get out, with the escalation of demands and violence used to control. 

Once a debt or type of control has been established, victims of grooming can often be forced into selling drugs or sold into the sex trade.


'The reference to Cuckoo is used as a slang or description to a house that sells or distributes drugs'. 

5 ways to spot a groomer

The easiest way to deal with grooming is to stop it before it starts! Once you're in a groom cycle, it can be hard to break out. This is because a grooming cycle is very complexed and it will often leave you feeling guilty for wanting to leave. the emotional manipulation that is used by a groomer, will often make you want to stay even when offered a way out. The complexity of the relationship may be linked into many different aspects of the life of an individual. Some victims of abuse believe that they are to blame for the break up of the relationship. 

  • Avoid giving out personal information.

Personal information is crucial to a groomer. They use this to build up a picture of your life. 

Information about you or your family can be used to manipulate you in the future.  Also be cautious 

With the information that you share online with others, as this can be shared to other groups that may

Potentially be harmful. 


  • Avoid the offer of uncomfortable relationships

Be cautious of people that want to become friends with you. Often friendships are formed naturally

And feel quite good. Grooming relationships are often forced onto you and you may feel pressured 

Into being a friend or associate. 


  • Avoid gifts and other offerings 

Never accept gifts or other material things from someone that you are not sure about. This is a common

Way for a groomer to position you for a later debt or demand. Gifts are great, but ask yourself why you deserve 



  • Avoid online pressure 

Online grooming is becoming very common with the access afforded by social media. Never share information or locations 

With anyone that you are not familiar with. Also try to avoid guilt or remorse for not responding. Groomers

Will often appeal to your weakness with the aim of making you feel super confident as the goal. 

  • Avoid the lure of making quick money 

There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things or being able to support your family more, but it can come at a cost. There is no such thing as easy money! A groomer will try and tempt you to be able to make easy money, but this is very rarely the reality. The reality is

You may end up in thousands of pounds debt, simply by accepting the lure of easy money. 


For free a booklet

The principles of grooming & manipulation