More than half of children groomed online who were referred to safeguarding charity Barnardo’s based in Bristol, were sexually exploited after meeting their attacker.
According to by Barnardo’s, more than half of those groomed online – including some as young as 10 years old – were exploited by more than one person.
The results are a chilling warning to parents to talk to their children about not revealing personal information to so-called virtual ‘friends’, or meeting them in real life.
In the last six months, Bristol's Barnardo’s Against Sexual Exploitation worked with 255 young people to gather research:
- of those, 131 had been groomed online.
- of those groomed online, 76 had contact offences committed against them and 74 were exploited by more than one perpetrator.
- of the 131 young people, 114 were female and 17 were male.