One in twenty children in the UK has been a victim of abuse. The threat of online grooming could be collectively combated. This project was shaped through discussions with both teachers and researchers on how to prevent the grooming of children aged between eight and ten.
This interactive graphic novel lets both adults and young people play and replay different scenarios from the perspective of a young girl who is being groomed. The reader can help teach the young girl to seek help whilst simultaneously pursuing their curiosity, pushing the girl’s community to investigate her behaviour. The reader’s choices will influence the flow of the narrative.
Parents, Friends, Teachers and all other members of the community can take part in the journey to disclosure. It often takes a long time for a young person with “something to say” to come forward and there is no prescribed right or wrong way to do it. These themes are explored in this graphic novel. The message the reader is left with is that all that matters is to start talking about it and having the courage to have the conversation.
Characters
Emily is the main character of the story. She is a bright child, loved by everyone. I create a group of characters to interact with Emily. They are the one who will be able to help her on her journey to disclosure.
Evolution of Emily's design: watercolour & digital
Set of expressions used as reference for animation
screenshots of the expressions used in the animation
Created with Moho 12 (Anime Studio)
Animation
The following WIP animation shows how I would represent the grooming/abuse scene in the graphic novel. In the video Emily is chatting with her "Friend" online and later has a phone call. After a while Emily's "Friend" starts driving the conversation in a way that makes her feel uncomfortable.

Sexual abuses does not necessarily involve physical contact or violences to be constituted.
Animation created with Moho 12 (Anime Studio)
The animation below is a parallax test I made in Moho 12. All the assets were create in Adobe Photoshop and then imported in Moho 12. 
Assets created with Adobe Photoshop. Animation made with Moho 12
VIsual DEvelopment

You will find below some of my research for backgrounds and ambience. The goal is to create a realistic yet cartoonish environment for Emily to evolve in.
Clean sketch of elements for Emily's bedroom. The oblique perspective makes it easier for future animation.
First coloured version of Emily's bedroom
Final Artwork of Emily's bedroom
The bedroom might look a bit crowded with all the elements but they all have a specific role in the story. The image is very colourful at the beginning of the story but become more dull progressively.
 They are many books in Emily’s bedroom but as the story unfolds they will disappear little by little. First they get covered in cobwebs to show that they aren’t used anymore and they will fade away. The one on the bedsheets will be replaced by a phone stand as Thomas will have more and more control over Emily as he is grooming her.

There are the frames on the wall for each character. Depending on the player’s choices during the story some frames will disappear. If a character, for example the teacher has a unhelpful reaction to Emily’s change of behaviour their frame will disappear from the wall. The wall can become more and more stripped from frames and this would mean that Emily finds herself more and more isolated.
We can find a small teddy-bear at the bottom of the bed. Emily is no little girl anymore but she couldn’t bring herself to throw it away. It’s a sweet reminder of childhood. As the story moves on teddy will first fall on the floor and lay forgotten under the bed for a while before disappearing completely (in the bin).
This will mean that because of the abuse her innocence is gone. Emily’s favourite hobby is sabre fencing. One of the indicator that a child might be victim of online grooming (or child sexual abuse) is a lost of interest in their hobby or changes in a routine. The fencing equipment will slowly get a cobweb and then disappear as the story moves on.
Sketch of the street where Emily's lives
At the beginning of the story, Emily walk to school with her friends.
Later in the story, Emily spends more and more time on her phone chatting with Thomas (the perpetrator). She starts to distance herself from her friends, now she walk far behind them on her way to school. It's Autumn, everything is bit more grey, the trees and plants have lost their leaves.
Near the end of the story, Emily walks to school alone, a dark shadow following her. It's winter, everything is cold and hostile.
The Graphic Novel

Here are a few glimpse of what the first chapter would look like. 

the Reader will have to drag the phone up from the bottom of the screen.
This sequence will be animated in the graphic novel
This is it for now, but you can see a mock up of how the app would run >HERE< .
Emily's Journey
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