Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse. It occurs when 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. Often, victims are not aware they are being exploited and so cannot protect themselves.

Signs that a young person may be being sexually exploited

The following risk factors might increase the likelihood of a young person being sexually exploited:

  • Going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late.
  • Regularly missing school or not taking part in education.
  • Appearing with unexplained gifts or possessions.
  • Associating with other young people involved in exploitation.
  • Being in a controlling relationship
  • Suffering from sexually transmitted infections.
  • Uncharacteristic and significant mood swings or changes in emotional well being.
  • Drug and alcohol misuse.
  • Spending time in CSE hotspots.
  • Being secretive.
  • Changes in behaviour.
  • Self-harming.
  • Suspected pregnancies.
  • Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.
  • Use of mobile phone and internet that causes concern.
  • Involved with or linked to gang activity.

Remember Safeguarding Children is everyone's responsibility! If you suspect that a child is at risk or experiencing child sexual exploitation call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency or The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on 024 7678 8555 or out of hours 024 7683 2222.

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) - for visiting service users

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 024 7678 8555

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Coventry City Council Customer Service Centre
3 Upper Precinct

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