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Police say soccer coach ‘groomed’ his alleged victims, but what is grooming?

By Danielle Ledbetter

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — Camilo Hurtado Campos was arrested and is accused of drugging and raping children and recording videos of the attacks.

Police said Campos likely “groomed” his victims, which the Sexual Assault Center defines as a non-violent technique someone uses to manipulate or coerce a victim by gaining rapport and trust over a period of time.

According to the SAC, grooming can include:

attempts to isolate attempts to spend alone time gift giving

The SAC reports it is normally done over a period of time and usually, but not always, there is a power dynamic associated with it. It can be difficult to detect but the SAC offers tips to help parents identify signals before it is too late.

“Having conversations early with our children,” explained Jessica Barfield, the Vice President of Operations for the SAC. “…letting them know and be aware and having that open dialogue with your child, but also when someone comes in your child’s life, go with your gut.”

Barfield said to be aware if someone is trying to isolate your child or spend alone time with them. These situations can go undetected but can be avoided by staying alert.

For victims, the SAC said victims can feel guilt and shame and they often do not disclose what has happened to them, but they encourage victims to talk about it.

“I think the more we talk about it the more people are aware and have some sort of idea of what’s happening,” Barfield said. “…they can see it earlier on, hopefully.”

Jessica Barfield also explained how victims should feel supported, trusted, and heard. She believes it is something the Sexual Assault Center can help with.

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