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What should I do if I think someone might be grooming me?

Don’t try to speak to them about it

First of all, don’t try to speak to the person about what they’re doing, or confront them. 

Although you may feel confused or angry, it’s best not to speak to them directly about how you’re feeling. They may carry on trying to manipulate you. Or they might start making threats, which could cause you more harm. 

Cut them off on social media

We recommend you unfriend or unfollow the person, and block them, on all your social media sites. If you have their number you should block this too. Report the person’s profile on social media. 

After that, check carefully any new followers, adds or messages you get on any sites. This is because the person may create a new profile to contact you. 

Check your online privacy

Check your privacy settings on all of your social media apps. Make sure you aren’t sharing personal information with the public or with strangers. Personal information includes things like your address or the school you go to.

Take action on any sexual images you’ve shared 

If you’re worried about any sexual selfies or videos you’ve already shared with the person, see our page on what to do if you’ve shared a nude, or been sent one.

Get help to stay safe

Remember – you’ve been through something really difficult and it’s normal to feel confused, upset or anxious. Talking to someone you trust, like a parent, carer or teacher, may help you to:

  • understand what’s happened
  • stay safe
  • cope with these difficult emotions

If the person knows where you live or where you spend your time, for example which school you go to, speak to an adult you trust so they can help keep you safe.’

Finally, think about whether you want to make a report.

You can do this through contacting your local police on 101 or making a report to the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Safety Centre, where a Child Protection Advisor will make sure you get the help you need. Find out more about how CEOP can help you here.

It can be really difficult to decide whether to make a report or not. So it’s a good idea to speak to a parent or carer about it, or to another adult you trust. 

Although the idea of talking to the police might seem scary, it’s important you know that you have a right not to be hurt by anyone, and the police are there to make sure that you aren’t. 

What to do if… You’re worried about a friend’s sexual behaviour

It can be really difficult to see someone you care about behaving in a way that is harmful to themselves or other people. Find out where you can get support to help you and your friend.

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