Child Sexual Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse may involve physical contact or non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways

In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power and control over them because of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.




Early Warning Signs of CSE



Spending more, often excessive times, online. Being secretive about times spent online


Mood swings or changes in emotional well being

Becoming aggressive or disruptive. Young people who have been sexually exploited may experience, and exhibit, extreme mood swings as they struggle to deal with the impact of the abuse.

Boyfriends/New friends

A significantly older “boyfriend” or “friend”. Gangs involved in exploitation will identify a young person and send someone to strike up a relationship with them

Mobile phones

Increase in phone use or secretive use. Unexplained credit or new phone. Abusers use mobile phones to command and control victims. They may resent the phone as a gift. Abusers can use in-built GPS technology to track victims whereabouts


Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults. Speaking about car journeys with unknown adults. Abusers may groom young people by offering to give them lifts in cars. /they may cruise the street in cars looking for young people 

Sexualised Behaviours

Inappropriate sexualised behaviour, promiscuity, over-familiarity with strangers, sending sexualised images via Internet. Young people may be acting out what has been done to them.

Drugs and alcohol

Appearing under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or possessing them. Abusers introduce children to drugs and alcohol as a way of controlling them and creating dependency


Appearing with unexplained new possessions such as clothes, jewellery or mobile phones that can not be accounted for. Abusers give victims gifts, buying first their friendship and later their affections, compliance ans silence


If you suspect a child is at risk of or is experiencing CSE it is important that children receive the following information:


The adults who have taken advantage of you are responsible and they are the people who have done something wrong.

They might have told you it is your fault and you will get into trouble but that is just a lie to frighten you.

If you are worried about yourself or another young person you should talk to an adult straight away


Report child sexual exploitation to the police by dialling 101. If you or a young person you care about is in immediate danger, dial 999.



See our policies

You will find more details about CSE in our Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy