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Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

  • Date published:

  • Author: annemariekennedy

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse in which a child or young person is manipulated or forced into taking part in a sexual act.

It usually involves exploitative situations and relationships where they may receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of performing sexual activities, e.g. being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. Often, victims are not aware they are being exploited and so cannot protect themselves. Young people with the following characteristics are likely to be at high risk of sexual exploitation:

  • Going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late.
  • Regularly missing school or not taking part in education.
  • Appearing with unexplained gifts or possessions.
  • Associating with other young people involved in exploitation.
  • Having older boyfriends or girlfriends.
  • Suffering from sexually transmitted infections.
  • Uncharacteristic and significant mood swings or changes in emotional well being.
  • Drug and alcohol misuse.
  • Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.
  • Use of mobile phone and internet that causes concern.
  • Involved with or linked to gang activity.

Remember Safeguarding Children is everyone’s responsibility! If you suspect that a child or Young Person is at risk or experiencing child sexual exploitation call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Or contact The Referral and Assessment Centre on 024 7678 8555 (out of hours 024 7683 2222).