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Child Sexual Exploitation – R U Wise 2 It? – Professionals

What is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?

The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive something (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and / or others performing on them, sexual activities.

Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet / mobile phone without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child / young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and / or economic or other resources.

Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice, resulting from their social / economic and / or emotional vulnerability. (DCSF 2009)

Facts about CSE

Any child can be targetted by sexual exploitation, however, there are some groups which have been identified as particularly vulnerable.

These include:

  • Looked After Children
  • Children / Young People with Disabilities or Learning Disabilities
  • Children Leaving Care
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGB&T)

CSE often starts when the child is around 10 years old. Both girls and boys can be targetted and CSE can happen within any community or economic background.

Targetted children / young people can be contacted via social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Bebo etc), via mobile phone (use of texting or ‘sexting’) or face to face.

As well as potentially receiving gifts or affection in return for sexual favours, children and young people can also be blackmailed into complying by their abuser (e.g. threats of violence towards themselves or their family; exposure of their actions to their family)

BSCB Policies, Procedures and Guidance

Child Sexual Exploitation (Practice Guidance): Guidance to raise awarness of CSE, what it is, how it can be recognised, and how to respond to concerns.

CSE Aide Memoire: This document seeks to support professionals in recognising the indicators of CSE in the children and young people they may have contact with. It should be used alongside the Practice Guidance to support preliminary assessment where a professional has concerns that a child may be at risk of, or is a victim of, CSE. This is for guidance only and is not a definitive determinant of risk. Professionals are encouraged to use their own instincts and judgement to reach a decision to refer.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Promise (this page also has a link to the CSE Strategy)

R U Wise 2 It? campaign material

CSE Poster (Young People)

CSE Leaflet (Parents & Carers)

CSE Leaflet (Young People)

Local Services

  • Barnardos R-U-Safe? A Buckinghamshire services delivered by Barnardos for those who are experiencing, or at risk of, CSE. The service aims to reach out to vulnerable young people by providing a holistic package of care delivered through assertive outreach, one to one engagement and awareness raising/prevention and preventative groups/programmes.
    RUSafe? also work in schools using a programme called Real Love Rocks
  • Sexual Health Services This app is available for free download and has been developed for young people, looking at possible risky situations and ways in which to stay safe.  For more information, click www.barnardos.org.uk/wud-u/

National Reports and Guidance

Useful Links