Preventing child sexual exploitation

Each year, thousands of young people are abused and groomed to have sex. Some are tricked into thinking they’re in a ‘normal’, even loving relationship, then they are threatened and passed around to strangers. This needs to stop. 

We want to end child sexual exploitation, and make sure childhood abuse doesn’t define young person’s future.

Preventing child sexual exploitation

what is child sexual exploitation

young man standing back to tennis court

What is CSE?

CSE stands for child sexual exploitation and is a type of abuse. It’s when children are tricked into performing sexual acts. It can happen to both boys and girls.

At the start, the young person may think they’re in a loving consensual relationship, because they get gifts, money, status, affection. In reality, they are being groomed.

Having gained the child’s trust, abusers can control them through threats and violence. They may force them to have sex with other people and even make them groom other young people for sex.

How we help children affected by CSE

We work to end child sexual exploitation and help those who have been through to rebuild their trust and hope.

Some children don’t know they’re being abused. They think they’re in a normal relationship. With our help, they can come to terms with their abuse and take control of their situation.

If they’ve been left feeling anxious, we counsel them for as long as it takes to feel more confident and trust people again.

We also work closely with the police. For decades, exploited young people have been treated like criminals. Thanks to our nationwide training, police know how to talk to young people and understand their needs.

young woman smiling at camera

I've come a long way

Abused as a child, Alice was an anxious teenager, scared to leave the house. Now she's a signed musician, putting on gigs for other artists.

working with children at risk of CSE

Working with children at risk

Children at Risk of Exploitation (C.A.R.E.) works with young people aged 8-24 years who are at medium or high risk of exploitation. We provide one-to-one therapy sessions, group sessions and parental support. It’s for young people who can’t or don't feel able access any other exploitation service. We are the last line of support.

I can recognise grooming now

woman staring at camera

working with communities

I like the fact I feel safe

– young person at Checkpoint

Working with communities

Our Checkpoint service in Torbay works with young people and their families who have been affected by sexual exploitation. We listen to young people’s needs and work out how they can keep themselves safe. 

Unlike other services, we work closely with local schools to help them understand exploitation. We support teachers to deliver their own sessions on exploitation and train other professionals in the community to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation.

What can I do about child sexual exploitation?

You can learn how to spot the signs of exploitation. If you’re a teacher, parent, carer, hotel worker, bus driver - anyone who may be in a position to identify exploitation - it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

If you think a child is being sexually exploited, don’t confront the abuser. This may put the child in more danger. Instead, contact your local authority's children's services. They’ll tell you what to do.

If you think a young person is in danger, call the police on 999