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Adult grooming is the adult equivalent to child grooming and applies to any behaviour where an adult is prepared so they unwittingly allow abusive behaviour or exploitation to occur later. The abuser typically befriends or builds a relationship with the victim in order to establish a relationship of trust. Well known examples of such abusive behaviours are sexual abuse, elder abuse, financial extortion, human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Although it is a common belief that grooming is most relevant to children, the same or similar psychological processes are used to exploit adults. As with child grooming, adult grooming typically involves: