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Child Grooming in Minecraft

Hello, Sam! It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to you. I‘m a 15 year old non-binary and I have a bit of a problem, you see. I‘m pretty sure I’ve been a victim of child grooming, and my friends who I have talked to think I have been as well. Since it happened 4 years ago and was through Minecraft (yes, minecraft, long story.) I do not have anyway to report (nor due I want to, I feel like that would be mean :[ ) Do you have any adivce for someone like me who went through this sort of thing, and is unable to tell their parents? :D Thank you, Sam!!

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The term "grooming" means when an adult or older person tries to make friends with a child or young person so that they can do sexual things with them. These relationships are usually not healthy as the older person has a lot of power over the person they’re grooming. The older person can often do things like buy gifts, treat the younger person like an adult and make them feel as though they’re special.

No matter where grooming happens - whether it's online on apps like Snapchat, Instagram or Kik, in your favourite game, or in person - it can be dangerous and it's important to be aware of what's happening. When you meet new people online it's best to be cautious at first. Trust should be something that someone has to earn - you wouldn't trust a stranger who walks up to you on the street, so you shouldn't trust someone who you don’t know online.

There are signs that you might be getting into a situation where you're being groomed. If an older person is spending lots of time with you, this can be the first sign - it's unusual for an adult to want to be friends with a teenager or younger person because you're at such different stages of life. If you're playing games online this can be harder to tell because you have a shared interest in the game so you might need to look for other signs, like wanting to keep your relationship secret or lying about it. Anyone who is being genuine should be okay with your parents or carers knowing they are friends with you. After a while the person grooming you might start to suggest sexual things - like sending nudes, talking sexually or even meeting up in person. It's really important to take a step back from the relationship if this happens. Adults shouldn't be asking you for things like these and it's actually against the law. If you have done sexual things online or in person with an adult then this is sexual abuse and it can have long-lasting effects on you even years later.

Now that it's been some time since you were groomed, you might find yourself thinking about what happened and things you might have done differently. It's not your fault that this has happened - the person being groomed isn't always able to understand what's going on at the time.

It would be important to find someone to talk about this. You know your parents better than anyone, so you should think about what they would say. I know that not everyone has understanding parents, so it could be someone else that you trust. If you  keep this to yourself it's possible it might cause more problems for you later in life - most people who've experienced some kind of sexual abuse need support and although it's never too late to get help, the earlier you get it the better. Our counsellors are there for you and they can help you decide what you want to do next.

I'm glad you chose to write to me about this, it's a brave thing to do. I hope this has helped, take care.


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