Child sexual exploitation - information for children

You've probably heard loads about this in the news. It's when someone makes you do something sexual for the benefit or enjoyment of others. It's a form of sexual abuse and is against the law.

If this is happening to you and you are in immediate danger tel: 999.

For help and support tel: 101 or Starting Point on tel: 01629 533190.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

You've probably heard loads about this in the news. It's when someone makes you do something sexual for the benefit or enjoyment of others or for money. CSE can happen to you at any time and you may not even realise it. It can start as a normal relationship or friendship but then start to change. You may be tricked into believing you're in a loving, consensual relationship. You might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. You may also be groomed on line.

Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs.

Is your older boyfriend or girlfriend:

  • giving you expensive presents or offering you money
  • making you feel special and offering you a place to stay
  • gaining your trust and then changing the way they act towards you
  • hurting, threatening or humiliating you.

Kayleigh's Love Story (15 Certificate), and has been rolled out to Derbyshire Secondary Schools between February and April 2017.

Kayleigh's Love Story is as a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don't know online. The short film produced by Leicestershire Police highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online without them or those around them knowing it is happening. Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.

Sexual abuse

What is sexual abuse? A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities.

  • this doesn't have to be physical contact and it can happen online
  • sometimes the child won't understand that what's happening to them is abuse
  • they may not even understand that it's wrong.

Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Child sexual abuse online

When sexual exploitation happens online, young people may be persuaded, or forced, to:

  • send or post sexually explicit images of themselves
  • take part in sexual activities via a webcam or smartphone
  • have sexual conversations by text or online
  • abusers may threaten to send images, video or copies of conversations to the young person's friends and family unless they take part in other sexual activity.
  • images or videos may continue to be shared long after the sexual abuse has stopped.

Child sexual exploitation in gangs

Sexual exploitation is used in gangs to:

  • exert power and control over members
  • initiate young people into the gang
  • exchange sexual activity for status or protection
  • entrap rival gang members by exploiting girls and young women
  • inflict sexual assault as a weapon in conflict
  • girls and young women are frequently forced into sexual activity by gang members.