Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse where the victim is given something - food, money, drugs, alcohol, gifts - in exchange for sexual activity with the abuser. Offenders target vulnerable young people and use their power - physical, financial, emotional etc. - over the child to sexually abuse them. It can affect any child, anytime, anywhere – regardless of their social or ethnic background.
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where the young person receives ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing sexual activities on another and/or others performing on them.
Violence, coercion and intimidation are common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic or emotional vulnerability.
A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation. This means that they are unlikely to report the abuse so others around them must be alert to the signs of CSE and report concerns to the authorities.
CSE can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post images on the internet or to mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Tell us what you know, not who you are
If you are concerned about a young person who may be involved in CSE please contact us. Crimestoppers is here to reassure the public that they can contact us anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using our Anonymous Online Form to provide information about crime. We guarantee all callers and website users anonymity and have done so for over 25 years now.