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Methods of captivating Russian children into sex slavery by criminals revealed

November 13, 2023

Human rights activist Antimonik: children are lured into sex slavery in dozens of ways

Since the 2010s, grooming—the process of involving children in the sex industry—has become widespread in Russia and around the world. To force minors to participate in erotic streams and publish intimate photos, criminals use dozens of methods - from building trusting relationships to blackmail. According to the co-founder of the Safe Home Foundation, Veronica Antimonik, there are studies confirming that unknown adults try to meet every tenth child on the Internet. The human rights activist told about grooming methods .

The offender gradually gains trust by treating the child in a certain way in order to then use him or her sexually. The goals may be different - some criminals do this, roughly speaking, for themselves, they are simply rapists. And there are those who want to get rich in this way. Or first they do it for themselves, and then they start exchanging or selling content. It happens that over time the child may still be forced to provide sex services

Veronica Antimonik

Grooming can be done not only by strangers on the Internet, but also by family members, blood or adoptive parents, close relatives, neighbors or teachers - in real life. They may sometimes force children into acts that lead to sex slavery, rather than gradually preparing them for it.
In poor families or those where adults have addiction problems, a child can be sold for sex not even for money, but for alcohol or drugs.

Teenagers are often at risk

During adolescence, children can easily be lured into the sex industry through romantic relationships or just friendships with adults, Antimonik said. Gifts and attention affect children who do not receive enough love, acceptance or care in the family.

An important role in this is played by a teenage identity crisis, when a child feels that no one understands him or her, and cannot find a common language with parents and peers and be accepted. Because of this, young men and women begin to actively seek communication and like-minded people on the Internet, which plays into the hands of criminals - they teach children to keep their communication secret, create the illusion of a special relationship, and so on.

It is especially important what kind of relationship the child has with his parents. Teenagers often hide the truth for fear of punishment.

There have been many cases involving children from financially secure families, and the more critical indicator is the relationship with the parents. Often children, when grooming reaches the stages where abuse begins, are afraid to tell their parents

Veronica Antimonik

Often, criminals act so skillfully that they establish real relationships with minors, and their integrity is not in doubt even among the parents of the victims. Having gained trust, they take underage girls abroad, supposedly for vacation. Unsuspecting parents give their consent to this.

Children are blackmailed with intimate photos

Blackmail begins immediately after receiving the first materials - children are forced to perform sexual acts on camera, threatening to show photos and videos to parents, friends, or distribute them on the Internet. Then the criminals demand more and more pictures and videos, and the pressure gets stronger.

Photo: Ekaterina Yakel /

Sometimes children take intimate photos voluntarily and share them with each other, and then these materials are either stolen or deliberately leaked online for revenge or other reasons. Criminals can also take advantage of this.

Usually, children who are blackmailed by pimps think that they are in a hopeless situation and do not seek help, but it also happens that they get scared and stop getting in touch. In this case, the attacker either continues to try to find an approach or switches to the next victim.