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Child Exploitation

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
  • Self-harming

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.

Appropriate Language: Child Sexual and/or Criminal Exploitation: Guidance for Professionals

Soft Intelligence

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: 01484 414960 or email DutyandAdvice@kirklees.gov.uk

Local Resources

National Resources

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.

Home Office Disruption Toolkit

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
#SaySomething
Facebook: /SaySomething
Twitter: @SaySomethingIf
Web: www.stop-cse.org/saysomething

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

Further information:

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

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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