Child Sexual Exploitation is illegal activity by people who have power over young people and use it to sexually abuse them. This can involve a broad range of exploitative activity seemingly ‘consensual’ relationships and informal exchanges of sex for attention, accommodation, gifts or cigarettes through to very serious organised crimes.
The term ‘sexual exploitation’ is often used to refer to the sexual abuse of children during adolescence. This is the time when they are rapidly changing and developing, both sexually and emotionally. They may be dreaming of having boyfriends or girlfriends and, while they want to act like adults, they lack the knowledge and experience to recognise when an abusive adult or young person is taking advantage of them. All this makes young people particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
Signs and Indicators
- Skipping school, coming home late or staying out overnight with no explanation
- Change in appearance, or overt sexualised dress
- Disengaging from family, friends and other support networks
- Becoming secretive
- Changing peer groups
- Unexplained money or gifts, including mobile phones
- Regularly going missing
- Offending behaviour
- Drug or alcohol misuse
- Being seen in different cars, perhaps with different older people
- Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour
- Having a much older boyfriend / girlfriend
- An increase in physical ailments and/or an increase in contact with healthcare
- Suffering from sexually transmitted diseases
- Pregnancy and/or terminations
There may be many reasons for changes in a young person’s behaviour, but if you notice a combination of worrying signs it may be time to seek help or advice
Professionals who have information or intelligence relating to sexual exploitation please complete the information report and send to the West Yorkshire Police Portal. This form is specifically to share information and is not a substitute for the West Yorkshire Risk identification tool.
For all other enquiries contact the Duty and Advice Team at Civic Centre 1 in Huddersfield on Tel: 01924 414960 or email DutyandAdvice@kirklees.gov.uk
- Kirklees Exploitation Safeguarding Strategy 2019-21
- Kirklees Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Tool (Only for use by Social Workers – Once completed to be emailed to the Risk and Vulnerabilities Team at email@example.com )
- West Yorkshire Procedures
DfE – What To Do If You Suspect A Child Is Being Sexually Exploited. DfE: A Step by Step Guide for Frontline Practitioners. This step-by-step guide complements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation1 statutory guidance published in 2009. It is intended for frontline practitioners in the statutory and voluntary and community sectors (VCS). It outlines the actions they should take, as a minimum, if they suspect that a child they are in contact with is being sexually exploited.
Statutory definition of Child Sexual Exploitation
Central government has defined Child Sexual Exploitation for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation. The full definition and a complete guide for safeguarding practitioners can be found on the following link to the HM Gov. document: Child sexual exploitation – Definition and a guide for practitioners
‘Say Something’: New Anonymous Service For Young People To Report Sexual Abuse
Say Something’ helpline: Call or Text 116000
NSPCC – three short animations which deal with subject of sexual exploitation.
Available on YouTube. The animations attempt to clarify the complex issues involved and offer starting points for discussion with young people who might be experiencing similar problems.
Source: YouTube: Jay
When someone cares about you
- NSPCC – a short video for young people entitled “How do I know if I’m being groomed.”
- PACE – Support to parents
Pace believes parents should be valued as key partners in safeguarding children from sexual exploitation.
Old enough To Know Better? Why sexually exploited older teenagers are being overlooked
County Lines Information
- Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines guidance (Home Office, July 2017)
- Know the signs to spot poster
- County Lines: Social Media Graphics
- County Lines: Protecting Vulnerable People from Exploitation: Posters
- County Lines: Posters for Bus and Coach Company Staff
- County Lines: Posters for Private Security Industry Staff
- County Lines: Posters for Taxi and Private Vehicle Hire Staff
- County Lines: Posters for Train and Rail Operator Staff
- County Lines: Posters for Letting Agents and Landlords
Alternative terminology – Suggested alternatives for describing behaviour around CSE concerns
|Inappropriate terms||Suggested alternatives|
|Putting themselves at risk||
|Sexual activity with…||
|Sexually active since (Age under 13)||
|Have been contacting adult Males/females via phone or internet||
|Offering her drugs seemingly in return for sex||
|Involved in CSE||This implies there is a level of choice regarding the child being abused a better term would be the child is vulnerable to being sexually exploited or they are being sexually exploited. A 5 year old would never be referred to as being involved in sexual abuse for the same reasons.|
|Promiscuous||This puts the blame on the child and implies they know what may be happening and therefore is not seen by practitioners as exploitative or abusive.
Often used to describe females behaviour.
|Prostituting themselves||This completely misses that the child is being controlled/manipulated. Changes in legislation have meant that child prostitution is no longer an acceptable term and should never be used.|
|Boyfriend/girlfriend||Children have been challenged in court with practitioner’s recordings where their practitioner has referred to the perpetrator as the child’s boyfriend or girlfriend.|
Lessons Learned from Serious Case Reviews
The NSPCC has produced a summary of lessons from Serious Case Reviews where Child Sexual Exploitation is a factor
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