Current Responses to Sexual Grooming: Implication for Prevention by Samantha Craven, Sarah Brown & Elizabeth Gilchrist

Abstract: This article aims to outline current responses to sexual grooming; specific attention will be given to new legislation introduced in England and Wales under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Following an outline of this new legislation, consideration will be given to its effectiveness, including practical difficulties that are likely to restrict its scope. Issues to be discussed include: poor definition and understanding of sexual grooming, scope of legislation in relation to non-Internet grooming, difficulties in identifying sexual grooming, and a failure of the new legislation to be truly preventative. The article concludes by supporting Richard Laws’s suggestion that the most effective prevention of child sexual abuse would result from adopting a public health approach.

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