PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — In response to the Summers County firefighter scandal, a child advocacy organization is warning about the signs of grooming behavior.
Mercer Child Protect Program Director, Beth Sizemore, said often times in sexual exploitation cases involving children, the victim was groomed by their attacker. Grooming is when the attacker creates an emotional connection with a child to prepare them for some sort of abuse. Sizemore explained grooming can be harder to detect, but there are signs.
“Someone is taking an intense interest in your child… giving them gifts, trying to find out things they like, games they like, or hobbies,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore said 90 percent of grooming cases involve someone familiar with the family. She explained the best way for parents to combat grooming behavior is to be diligent, watch their children and never allow them to be alone with anyone.
Sizemore further said if you suspect or see something, say something.