CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) perpetrators typically do not entice or coerce children to victimize from a beat-up, white van. CSEC perpetrators can be difficult to identify before they sexually exploit children because of their tactics and processes. Nevertheless, those combating CSEC have documented some common tactics used by perpetrators, which are commonly referred to as the sexual grooming process. 

Sexual grooming refers to the tactics, behaviors, and methods that a perpetrator uses to prepare their target for sexual abuse [1]. The ultimate goal of grooming is to sexually abuse a child without detection. The grooming process has commonly been referred to as the Sexual Grooming Model (SGM); this process was created by Winters and Jeglic (2017) to help identify sexual perpetrators who target children [2].

The SGM five stages are as follows:

  1. The perpetrator will select someone to victimize who is commonly vulnerable
  2. The perpetrator attempts to gain access to this person and/or isolates them
  3. The perpetrator develops a relationship with the victimized person and others known to them, like the parents or caretakers
  4. The perpetrator desensitizes the child to sexual content and physical touch
  5. The perpetrator sexual abuses the victimized person with the previous behaviors to keep compliance over them [2]

It can be challenging to hear and learn about CSEC perpetrators’ tactics, but it is important to be aware of the SGM to prevent and stop the sexual exploitation of children. If you would like more information on trainings available, please email [email protected].


[1]Craven, S., Brown, S., & Gilchrist, E. (2006). Sexual Grooming of Children: Review of Literature and Theoretical Considerations. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 287-299.

[2]Winter, G., & Jegilc, E. (2017). Stages of Sexual Grooming; Recognizing Potentially Predatory Behaviors of Child Molesters. Deviant Behavior, 724,733.