What is child sexual exploitation?
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual violence in which children are sexually exploited in return for money, goods (like cigarettes, alcohol, mobiles or trainers etc.), power or status.
Those exploiting young people have power over them because of their age, status, physical strength and/or resources.
Some young people are trafficked into or around the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Child sexual exploitation is child abuse
Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime. Young people often trust their abuser and don't understand that they're being abused. They may depend on their abuser or be too scared to tell anyone what's happening.
It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults, including oral and anal rape. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Child sexual exploitation doesn't always involve physical contact and can happen online.
What warning signs are there that a young person is being exploited?
The London Safeguarding Children’s Board have developed a handy mnemonic to help people to recognise warning signs of CSE - SAFEGUARD
Sexual health and behaviour concerns
Absent from school or repeatedly running away
Familial abuse and/or problems at home
Emotional and physical condition
Gangs, older groups and involvement in crime
Use of technology and sexual bullying
Alcohol and drug misuse
Receipt of unexplained money or goods
Distrust of authority figures