Child Sexual Exploitation



What is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?

Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a top priority for us.

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse.  It occurs where 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 occur through the use of technology.

Children and young people who are victims of, or at risk of, sexual exploitation often to not recognise that they are being exploited which means that there is a need for us all to be aware of CSE, recognise the warning signs and identify young people who are at risk.

Know the signs

Spotting the tell-tale signs of CSE can help disrupt the abuse.

However, many of these signs are typical of all teenagers so they need to be treated with caution:

  • Becoming especially secretive and stop engaging with their usual friends
  • Associating with, or develop a sexual relationship with older males or females
  • Go missing from home – and be defensive about their location and activities, often returning home late or staying out all night
  • Be missing school
  • Receive odd calls and messages on their mobiles or social media pages from unknown, possibly much older associates from outside their normal social network
  • In possession of new, expensive items which they couldn’t normally afford, such as mobile phones, iPads or jewellery
  • Exhibit a sudden change in dressing patterns or musical taste
  • Look tired and/or unwell, and sleep at unusual hours
  • Have marks or scars on their body which they try to conceal
  • Adopt new ‘street language’ or respond to a new ‘street’ name

Catch 22Pan Merseyside Child Sexual Exploitation Service

Works with young people under 18-years-old across Merseyside who are experiencing or at risk of child sexual exploitation. The service responds to and fully supports young people who are currently involved in child sexual exploitation (CSE), gangs and trafficking, through both one to one and group work.

To find out more about CSE please click on the links below: