Child sexual offenders employ grooming to prepare victims for illegal sexual relationships. When grooming a child, an offender typically separates the child from his or her peers, gains the victim’s trust, provides gifts and extra attention, sexualizes the relationship, and uses fear to ensure the child’s continued participation in sexual behaviors. This course is designed to help investigators understand the grooming process, improve investigations involving child victims, and develop effective interview strategies when dealing with child sexual offenders. First, the course will discuss and define child sexual offenders and victims and offer identification tips. Next, the course will identify grooming techniques, discuss how to identify patterns of grooming, and highlight how grooming techniques impact a child’s willingness and capability to report. The course will then identify how how to introduce grooming as “other acts” evidence, and suggest things to consider when conducting a child sexual assault investigation. After completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand what child sexual abuse is
  2. Identify demographic characteristics of child sexual offenders
  3. Describe how child sexual offenders choose victims
  4. Recognize grooming patterns child sexual offenders use against children and adults
  5. Understand how grooming impacts a child’s decision to report
  6. Introduce grooming as “other acts” in a case
  7. Apply learned knowledge to child sexual assault cases

This course is intended for those involved in child sexual abuse cases or issues who need to enhance their ability to observe potential grooming techniques and how to better enhance their investigations by identifying grooming patterns.