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 another 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 phones 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.
This definition of child sexual exploitation was created by the UK National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People (NWG) and is used in statutory guidance for England.
Message from DCI Ian Green (Chair of Coventry CSE and Missing Steering Group):
"Child sexual exploitation has been highlighted over the past few months as being both prevalent and increasing. It is hideous in its nature and has terrible effects on the lives of both young people and their families. In Coventry we are committed to working closely together with the other 6 West Midlands Metropolitan area due to the transient threat of this crime which has no boundaries. By working together we can gain a greater insight into the nature of the threat and how it can be addressed and challenged.
Over the past 12 months we have witnessed a rapid pace of change in responding to this threat and this will continue over the coming months. As a City we must work together to bring perpetrators to justice, support victims of exploitation and actively engage education, community and faith groups and all partnership organisations in preventing CSE.
It is vital that all partners work closely together to develop and implement robust, co-ordinated activity to ensure that we effectively achieve these aims."
Young people who are risk of or being sexually exploited, unless they are care leavers, will only continue to get support from Children’s Social Care and relevant health services up until their 18 birthday. The LSCB recognises that often young people continue to be at risk, or experience sexual exploitation post 18 and have identified the following organisations who are able to support these young people:
See me, Hear me have also produced a directory of regional and local post-18 support.