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Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.
Children or young people may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online. The abuser may physically or verbally threaten the young person or be violent towards them. They will control and manipulate them and try to isolate them from friends and family. It happens to boys and young men as well as girls and young women. Abusers are very clever in the way they manipulate and take advantage of the young people they abuse.
Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Even something that seems like normal teenage behaviour could be a sign that a child is being exploited.
These can include:
It is important to discuss with children the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships to help highlight potential risks to them. There are also a number of practical steps you can take to protect your child:
Exploitation can be hard to recognise, it's important you spot the signs that it's happening.
If a child is in immediate danger call 999. If your concern is not an emergency you can contact the police on 101.
Keep them safe is a free online learning tool from Pace and Virtual College which has been accessed by more than 29,000 parents and professionals (as of March 2016).
Although the course is aimed at parents, safeguarding professionals will also find this 20-30 minute e-learning training course a valuable source of information to: