Child sexual exploitation

Protect children from grooming and abuse

Sexual exploitation is when a person is manipulated or forced into taking part in a sexual act. It is a form of abuse.

This may happen in what seems to be a friendship or consensual relationship. It may be in return for gifts or somewhere to stay. The victim may be being manipulated emotionally.

Contact Social Care Direct if you think that someone has been sexually exploited. Always call 999 in an emergency.

This type of abuse could happen to any child or young person, male or female, from any background. The victims of abuse are not at fault.

Signs to watch for

Victims often do not recognise that they are being exploited. There are signs that a child may be being groomed for sexual exploitation.

Victims may

  • go missing at times or often return home late
  • miss school
  • have new possessions they cannot explain
  • be around other young people involved in exploitation
  • have older boyfriends or girlfriends
  • display inappropriate sexualised behaviour.

Victims may suffer from

  • sexually transmitted infections
  • mood swings
  • problem drug and alcohol use.