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Sexual exploitation

What is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations and relationships where the young person (or another) receive "something" (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing or others performing on them sexual activities.

CSE can occur through the use of technology without immediate understanding, e.g. being persuaded to post images on the internet or mobile phone without immediate payment or gain. Violence, being pressured and intimidation are common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is often where the child or young person has limited choice as a result of their social, economic or emotional vulnerability.

Often the child or young person does not recognise the danger of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation, as they consider they have acted voluntarily. The reality is they have not consented and their behaviour is not voluntary. A child cannot consent to their own abuse

If you are concerned about a child you can speak to a social worker who will listen to your concerns and work with other professionals. 

Contact the MASH Team on tel: 020 8921 3172 or email: to speak to a social worker.

Barnardo’s has published a set of tailored advice leaflets for parents and carers. Click here to download.

Visit Parent Protect CSE information page or download their leaflet on CSE

Working with the Police: the role of parents in investigating child sexual exploitation is a reader-friendly guide for parents that explains police investigative procedures, relevant legislation and disruption tools available to the police.

Available to download or in an easy to navigate A5 booklet, it gives parents information to help them log and gather crucial evidence of their child’s exploitation and encourage a positive working relationship with safeguarding agencies.

Keeping it together - A parent’s guide to coping with child sexual exploitation

If you, or a parent you know, is affected by child sexual exploitation you can contact PACE for advice and support. Click here to access PACE UK Advice centre page where you can find information guides on specific aspects of child sexual exploitation