In my search for existing support for adult victims of grooming, I came across the story of Anna Rowe.
Anna was the victim of a very specific type of grooming: catfishing.
She was duped by a married man using a false photo and name on Tinder, and is – like this campaign – calling on government to take action. AnnaRowe was groomed by a man who used the name Antony Ray, but this smart, intelligent single mum eventually learned learned that her lover, who had even discussed marriage, was not only using a false name, but was a London lawyer with a wife and children.
He was also having relationships with other women – at the time she wrote her story, 11 over a ten year period. You can read her story here: https://catchthecatfish.com/my-petition-story/
There are many parallels with SW: the profiling; the lies; the intense depth of relationship; the promises; the hurt; the history of abuse. Classic grooming, albeit with with a trendier name, catfishing, because of the use of an alias on a dating site.
But her words sum up why this is so devastating: the result of the groomers actions is the other party believing they are beginning a real relationship with the hope of a future together and having sex is part of that believed relationship. To quote her words:
“I would never have consented to a sexual relationship with a married man, let alone a man who was actively having relations with multiple women simultaneously.”
Anna is further down the line with her campaign than this one – but hopefully her petition will encourage a wider review and I’d encourage you to support her petition here: Catfishing petition.
Disclosure, January 2019: I am now supporting Anna’s work, and we hope to make announcements soon.