Child Sexual Exploitation – Know The Signs
- Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of child sexual abuse. It is the organised and deliberate exploitation of a child purely for the sexual gratification of adults.
- Any young person could become a victim of child sexual exploitation. The crime affects both girls and boys from any background and of any ethnicity.
There are three main types of CSE:
- Inappropriate relationships – this usually involves one perpetrator who has inappropriate power or control over a young person. There is often a significant age gap and the victim may believe they are in a loving relationship.
- ‘Boyfriend’ model – the perpetrator befriends and grooms the young person into a ‘relationship’ and then convinces or forces them to have sex with friends or associates. This is sometimes associated with gang activity.
- Organised sexual exploitation – young people are passed through networks where they are forced into sexual activity with multiple men. This often occurs at ‘sex parties’ and the young people may be used to recruit others into the network.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) can also take place over the internet. For advice on how to remain safe online follow the link to the Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Centre https://www.ceop.police.uk/
Know the Signs
Even something that seems like normal teenage behaviour could be a sign that a child is being sexually exploited.
Some of the visible signs include:
- Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night.
- Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn.
- Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for.
- Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use.
- Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults.
- A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends.
- Spending an excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online.
- Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending.
- Sexual health problems.
If you have any concerns that someone you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to West Mercia Police by calling 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also get advice and help from Childline or the NSPCC. In an emergency or if a crime is ongoing always dial 999.