- As a child protection social worker you might work with children who have or who might still be groomed and potentially sexually abused by perpetrators within religious institutions.
- The goal of this paper was to examine the grooming of children for sexual abuse in religious settings.
- This paper provides a summary of grooming literature, grooming and abuse in religious settings and then it examines specific case studies in which this grooming process was evident.
- This paper is thus not empirical in that the authors did not do their own research – they examined the variety of literature available on the topic of grooming especially in religious settings.
The significant findings are:
- The paper confirms that there are different definitions of grooming but also confirms that some consensus has emerged around several significant features within the process of grooming. The authors of this paper, refer to, among others, one comprehensive definition of grooming by Craven et al. (2006): a process by which a person prepares a child, significant adults and the environment for the abuse of the child. Specific goals include gaining access to the child, gaining the child's compliance and maintaining the child's secrecy to avoid disclosure. This process serves to strengthen the offender's abusive pattern, as it may be used as a means of justifying or denying their actions (Craven et al., 2006, p. 297).
- Three types of grooming are then described with reference to the above author.
- Common practices by perpetrators whilst grooming is described.
- The paper describes how religious power, authority, patriarchy, and opportunity merge to foster conditions that some individuals exploit to groom and sexually abuse children- references to specific cases in which this happened is then looked at.