Now streaming on Discovery+ is the heart-wrenching, yet inspirational documentary, Groomed.
Groomed is a documentary about a young woman who was sexually exploited by a so-called “friend.”
Here is the documentary’s official synopsis.
Groomed is the devastatingly powerful story of filmmaker Gwen van de Pas as she returns to her hometown in search of answers about the man who sexually abused her as a child. To understand her ongoing traumas, Gwen travels to meet survivors, psychologists, and even a convicted sex offender. Produced by Gwen van de Pas, Bill Guttentag, and Dylan Nelson, GROOMED addresses a common yet little understood manipulation type called ‘grooming’, how to recognize it, and how to stop it. What begins as an exploration into grooming becomes a dramatic journey where Gwen faces unexpected revelations in her case, finally finds her anger, and boldly confronts the evil we’d rather ignore. Executive produced by Blumhouse in association with Yellow Dot Films.
Wow. This film was really difficult to hear and to watch. Hearing the victim’s stories made me want to reach into the computer screen and give each and every one of them a hug. No child should endure sexual abuse, and no older child or adult should ever have to deal with the ramifications of being sexually exploited and abused.
I used to intern at an all-male prison when I was in college. I worked in the pre-release center. I also facilitated my own workshop about domestic violence.
My mentor had me act as a co-facilitator in the sexual offender groups that he ran. Hearing these men talk made me sick to my stomach.
I still vividly remember an older man who was in the sexual offenders group. He was really old and confined to a wheel chair. He was in the process of being released from prison. In that group, he came right out and said that he still found children sexually appealing, and they aroused him. I was SHOCKED! I asked my mentor why he was being released if he was still sexually attracted to children. He said the man served his time and there was nothing that they could say or do. That made me furious! From that point on I wanted to be the voice of change in the system. Sadly, life has a way of knocking us off track. Sigh…
In this documentary, viewers will meet the film maker Gwen van de Pas, and learn about her story and how she was sexually abused by someone she thought was a friend. Befriending someone and making them think of you as a friend, and making that person feel special, is just one of the many techniques a sexual offender does to groom their victim(s).
“Grooming” is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them. Children and young people who are groomed can be sexually abused, exploited or trafficked. Anybody can be a groomer, no matter their age, gender or race.
In this documentary we meet other individuals who were also sexually abused, and learn how they were “groomed” by their offenders. We also get to hear from a sexual offender and learn how he was able to “groom” his victims.
The purpose of this documentary is to teach others who are the signs to look for when it comes to protecting the ones you love from being an offender’s next victim. It can also protect YOU so that you are aware of what is taking place before you get victimized. Sexual offenders go after anyone, no matter what your gender or age.
I found this documentary to be very “eye opening.” I never realized what steps a offender took to make a victim fall into their trap. It’s scary how easily it’s done. Hopefully people will learn from this documentary in hopes it can help stop others from falling for an offender deception.
Groomed is airing exclusively on Discover+.
For more information about the channel, visit DiscoveryPlus.com. Discovery+ can also be found on social media. Those links are found on the bottom of their website.
Below is the film’s trailer.
*I received a free screener to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.