‘Grooming’ and the sexual abuse of children
By Dr Anne-Marie McAlinden
The word “grooming” has become synonymous with child sexual abuse. It is often used to describe situations of extra-familial abuse–where “predatory strangers” befriend children who were previously unknown to them. Two of the most prominent social connotations of the term are “on-line grooming” committed via the internet and “institutional grooming” and abuse committed by those in positions of power and trust.