Grooming is a crime in which an adult decides to meet with people who are under 15 years old, with sexual intentions. Meetings can also happen online, for example via social media. Sexual intentions means that the adult tries to pressure you to pose nude, write sexual things, or meet online for example, through validation, bribes, or blackmail.
Sometimes, adults can pretend to be your age in order to contact you or get you to share private things. This is called catphishing. It is illegal for an adult to arrange a meeting (with sexual intention) with people under 15 years old, even if the meeting never happens.
How can you know if someone has sexual intentions?
Often times, it is not clear if an adult has sexual intentions or not. Maybe the person seems nice, interested, attentive and makes you feel safe. It is good to be attentive or hesitant if an adult contacts you online without being clear about why. This even applies to people you know or are acquainted with.
Always ask yourself the question, “Why is this person trying to contact me?” If the answer is unclear or the adult wants to have close contact with you without being open about this with your loved ones or friends, talk to a parent, friend, teacher, counselor, or the police to get help and make sure that it is not a crime.
You can also contact BRIS for support and answers. It is also good to gather digital evidence of all contact you have with the adult.
Advice Sexual harassment and sexual abuse, find support and help
Being the victim of abuse is never your fault. You can never have said, hinted at, or shown yourself in any way that gives another person the right to abuse you. Even if you are in a relationship with the person or you know them, it is still a crime and you have the right to protection and help.
Advice If someone threatens to spread private material about you – contact the police!
Advice You are not alone, get support!
Get help from the people around you. You do not have to be alone in this. Cyber hate falls within the responsibility of the employer, school, association or organization.
Advice Report offensive posts and comments to administrators
If you read offensive and inappropriate posts or comments on social media, you can always report this to the administrators
Advice You can remove the private images that have been spread
The Cyber Hate Assistant has a guide on what to do when pictures have been spread. When you have located the image, you have to contact the administrator of the page so that they remove the image. If it feels uncomfortable to search for your own private pictures, as someone to do it for you.
Advice Schools have the responsibility to investigate, even on the internet!
Report directly to the school and contact your guardians. Even if they think it is bullying, it can be harassment according to the law. Make sure you get the right support and investigation.
Advice It is illegal to spread nude pictures of people under the age of 18
If the material is of people under the age of 18, it is a crime to share or download the material because it is seen as child pornography. Gather digital evidence of everyone who has shared the picture(s) - they are all accomplices!
You are never responsible for an adult’s behavior
Nothing you do, post online, or suggest gives an adult the right to contact you! It is never your fault or responsibility that the adult contacts you, it is always the adult’s responsibility. Nothing you do, say, share, or that the adult believes/has understood gives the adult the right to contact you.
If the adult pretends to be your age, it is not your fault at all — the responsibility lies with the adult. You can even be the one who initiated contact, but if you are under the age of 15, and you are contacting someone over 18, it is their responsibility to not have that type of contact with you. It is never your fault or responsibility.
Swedish Police Authority, ecpat, BRIS, barnafrid, BUP, Chapter 6 § 10a Swedish Penal Code.