Online child sexual exploitation: prevalence, process, and offender characteristics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


This review provides an overview of current knowledge and understanding of the process of sexual grooming and exploitation of children via the Internet. Specifically, the prevalence of online sexual grooming and exploitation is explored as well as associated challenges relating to the identification of its occurrence. This is complemented by a detailed outline and discussion of the process, both online and in the physical world, and legal responses to this phenomenon. A number of factors are examined to provide an explanation of the facilitating and contributing role they may play in offense processes online. Finally, current typologies are discussed in relation to characteristics of Internet offenders in general and "groomers"/chat room offenders specifically. This review concludes by offering suggestions for future research.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-139
Number of pages14
JournalTrauma, Violence and Abuse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • sexual grooming, online sexual exploitation, internet communications