Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse.
When young people are exploited, they are given things like money, gifts, drugs, attention or affection in exchange for performing sexual activities. It can also happen online using sexual images and can include threats of violence towards the victim or their family. Children and young people are often “groomed”; this means they are tricked into thinking they are in a loving, consensual relationship. Children and young people can be “trafficked”, which means they are moved into or around the country to be sexually exploited. This can also happen when children and young people become involved with gangs.
If a child or young person is being sexually exploited, they may:
- become isolated or withdrawn
- become secretive
- be having mood changes
- come home late
- go missing from home
- have new (and sometimes expensive) possessions, including new phones
- be using drugs or alcohol
- be spending a lot of time on social media
- make and receive late night calls
- be mixing with older friends
- abandon old friends for new ones
- become violent or aggressive to family members or even be more compliant than normal
- become involved with criminal activity
- miss school.