Child Exploitation (CE)
Government guidance defines Child Sexual Exploitation as:
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
This form of abuse can be difficult to identify and sometimes indicators may be mistaken for ‘normal adolescent behaviours’. It requires knowledge and skills to analyse the risk factors and personal circumstances of individual children to ensure that the signs and symptoms are interpreted correctly and appropriate support is given.
Practitioners working with children should familiarise themselves with Section A of this guidance.
Potential risk indicators include:
- Acquisition of money, clothes, mobile phones etc. without explanation;
- Gang-association and/or isolation from peers and social networks;
- Exclusion or unexplained absences from school, college or work;
- Leaving home or care without explanation and persistently going missing or returning late;
- Excessive receipt of texts and phone calls;
- Returning home under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Inappropriate sexualised behaviour for age and sexually transmitted infections;
- Evidence of and suspicions of physical or sexual assault;
- Relationships with controlling or significantly older individuals or groups;
- Multiple callers (unknown adults or peers);
- Frequenting areas known for sex work;
- Concerning use of internet or other social media;
- Increasing secretiveness around behaviours;
- Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being
CSE Awareness Raising
CSE Police and Prevention Toolkits - resources that may be useful for professionals when working with children and young people, their families and communities around CSE, including Boys and Young Men, BME, Child Criminal Exploitation, Deaf and Physically Disabled Children & Young People, LGBTQ+ Young People.
Money Mules - Information about fraudsters asking people to receive money into their bank account, transferring it into another account and keeping some of the cash for themselves. Known as 'money mules', it is money laundering and is a crime.