Child sexual exploitation
If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999
What it is
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.
Children are often groomed for future sexual exploitation and it can occur through the use of technology without immediate recognition. A common example is being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones.
In all CSE cases, persons exploiting the child/young person have power over them in several ways including their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.
Violence, forcing, bullying and intimidation are common grooming behaviours used to persuade vulnerable people to partake in activities.
For more information, see Greg's story from Barnardo's.
What to do if you are worried
Click here to watch a video on recognising some of the signs of sexual exploitation and the dangers of making friends online. There is some guidance here on how to keep you and your friends safe from exploitation.
If you are worried about anything, speak to a trusted adult or professional e.g. a teacher, youth leader, health professional who will help you sort the problem out. They may need to refer you to other professionals such as a social worker or the police.
Alternatively ChildLine are available to phone 24 hours a day or you can chat online or email them.
CEOP is here to keep children safe from sexual abuse and grooming online.