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Child Exploitation

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Sexual exploitation is when someone uses something you need or want to get you involved in sexual activities. It can involve being forced, pressured, persuaded or tricked into sexual activity. It can involve exchanges of sexual activity for attention, accommodation, gifts, cigarettes or alcohol. Sexual exploitation can happen to girls and boys.

There are signs of county lines / criminal exploitation in addition to those seen when sexual exploitation is taking place:

  • Offering a child or young person money or goods in exchange for sex
  • Stalking children or young people's online activities
  • Asking children or young people to participate in non-contact sexual activities such as engaging in sexual conversations online or via mobile telephone
  • Asking children or young people to take and share indecent images of themselves online or through a mobile telephone
  • Asking children or young people to display sexualised behaviours or perform sexual acts that are recorded or shared live via webcam
  • The creation, storage and distribution of child abuse images (also referred to as child pornography or indecent images)
  • Arranging to meet a child or young person for the purpose of sexually abusing them

Offenders of sexual exploitation may approach you on the street and gain your trust by offering you drugs, alcohol or gifts.

Offenders may try to make friends with you online through online chat rooms, social networking websites, email and mobile telephone messaging.

Offenders may convince you that you are in a relationship with them but they are in fact trying to gain your trust and this is called grooming.

What is Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)?

Child Criminal Exploitation happens when a person or group of people trick, persuade, bully or use their power over a child/young person under the age of 18 years to take part in criminal activity. The adult(s) will often take advantage of the child /young person by:

  • Offering the child/young person something the child needs or wants
  • Threatening or using violence against the child/young person

The Adult exploiting the child/young person will often gain financially from the criminal activity.
Sometimes the child/young person will not realise they are being exploited.

There are indicators of County Lines / Criminal exploitation and these are additional to those that are well known for Sexual Exploitation including:

  • Increased missing episodes
  • Unexplained amounts of money, new high cost items and multiple mobile phones
  • Increased social media and phone/text use, almost always secretly
  • Older males in particular seen to be hanging around and driving
  • Having injuries that are unexplained and unwilling to be looked at
  • Increase in aggression, violence and fighting
  • Carrying weapons – knives, baseball bats, hammers, acid
  • Travel receipts that are unexplained
  • Significant missing from education and disengaging from previous positive peer groups
  • Parent concerns and significant changes in behaviour that affect emotional wellbeing.

Worried About A Child or Friend or Do You Need Help?

If there is immediate danger call Police on  999

Call 0800 11 11

They help children who have been abused to rebuild their lives, protect those at risk, and find the best ways of preventing abuse from ever happening.

Call 0800 11 11

Childline offers free, confidential advice and support whatever your worry, whenever you need help.

A Home Office website which provides information and guidance on healthy relationships, and explains what is sexting, consent, and rape.

Whether it's relationship abuse, sexting, consent, issues on social media or forced marriage that you’re concerned about, Safe Date have all the facts, support and guidance to help you make the right decisions and stay safe.

Website providing information and guidance on healthy relationships, also contains stories and games.

Help if you’ve experienced rape, child sexual abuse or any kind of sexual violence details of local Rape Crisis services; information about sexual violence for survivors, people supporting survivors.
Young Minds

If you’re struggling with your feelings, you're not alone. Young Minds have loads of practical tips and advice from young people just like you, as well as information on getting the support you need.