Untold Stories – Grooming and Staying Safe Online

Untold Stories - Grooming and Staying Safe Online

Talk to us about how you keep yourself and others safe online.

ACT Untold Stories is an opportunity to share your experiences of certain key safeguarding issues.

Every month we’ll focus on a different safeguarding theme.

Our first theme is adult grooming, and staying safe online.

You can read more about Untold Stories here. 

What is Adult Grooming?

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

You can read more about adult grooming here. Our guide also has tips on warning signs that might suggest that someone’s being groomed.

We Need to Better Understand How Grooming Works, and What It Feels Like

We recently spoke to safeguarding consultant Ann Marie Christian about adult grooming:

There are lots of untold stories out there. People need to feel comfortable in talking about this issue, in sharing their stories.

The more stories we hear, the more we’ll empower others to tell their stories, to recognise that they shouldn’t feel ashamed, or embarrassed, but that they’ve been targeted and abused by someone who knew exactly what they were doing.

But for some people, sharing or not sharing can be life or limb. We should normalise talking about these issues, but until we can, we must anonymise things, so that people might feel comfortable in coming forward.

There are people out there who have a lot to say, but they don’t feel able to share their stories. So are we ready to listen?

You can listen to our chat with Ann Marie in full here.

Are You Ready To Tell Your Story?

Use the form below to share your thoughts on adult grooming and staying safe online. It’s totally anonymous. Though we might refer to your story in future reports or resources, we won’t share any sensitive details.

We’d be interested to know:

  • Have you ever experienced adult grooming? Whether it involved you or people you know, if you’re ready to share your story, we’re ready to listen.
  • Would you recognise if you or someone you know was being groomed? Read more about the signs that someone’s being groomed. How would you spot these warning signs online?
  • Would you know what to do if you or someone you know was being groomed online? Who would you talk to? What sort of help is available?
  • Are you spending more time online? Do you think that lockdown’s made it easier to work, play, and socialise online? Or has it made things harder?

And above all, we’d like to know:

How do you keep yourself and others safe online?

So share your online safeguarding tips! Tell us your digital self-defence moves!

How Will We Use Your Story?

This isn’t an opportunity to name and shame. Neither is this a platform for whistleblowing.

Instead, this is an opportunity to have your voice heard at a national level.

This is an opportunity to help improve services for everyone.

Because the better we can understand these issues, the better we can help individuals and organisations safeguard others from harm, abuse, and exploitation.

Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing guides and resources to help broaden your understanding of adult grooming, and to help you stay safe online.

And at the end of the month, we’ll put a summary together, in which we’ll compile these resources and share the key insights we’ve learned from your stories. So if you have any tips for staying safe online, this is a chance to share them with a broad audience!

Help Us to Help Others Stay Safe Online

If you have something to share, please complete the anonymous form below.

  • Tell us as much as you can. It's totally anonymous. Though we might refer to your story in reports or resources, we won't share any sensitive details.