Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

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

Soft Intelligence

Professionals who have information or intelligence relating to sexual exploitation please complete the information report and send to cseteam@kirklees.gcsx.gov.uk .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 integrated HUB at Dewsbury Police Station on Tel: 01924 431 499 or email ea.safeguardingcse@westyorkshire.pnn.police.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.

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

 

Alternative terminology – Suggested alternatives for describing behaviour around CSE concerns

Inappropriate terms Suggested alternatives
Putting themselves at risk
  • Child may have been groomed.
  • The child is at an increased vulnerability to being abused/exploited.
  • A Perpetrator may exploit the child’s increased Vulnerability
  • Situation could reduce the child’s safety
  • Location/situation could increase a perpetrators opportunity to abuse them.
  • Child in not in a protective environment
  • The location is dangerous to children
  • Not clear if the child  is under duress to go missing
  • Concerns are that the child may be being sexually abused
  • It is unclear why the child is getting in to cars.
  • Concern that there is a power imbalance forcing the child to act in this way.
  • Concerns regarding others Influences on the child.
Sexual activity with…
  • They have been sexually abused
  • They have been raped.
  • Allegation of sexual abuse
  • Child has described sexual activity, however concerns exist that they child may have been groomed/coerced.
Sexually active since (Age under 13)
  • Raped
  • Concerns exist that child may have been coerced, exploited or sexually abused.
  • Child may have been sexually abused.
Have been contacting adult Males/females via phone or internet
  • Adult males/females have been contacting the child.
  • Child may have been groomed.
  • Concerns that the adult is facilitating commination with a child.
  • Child is vulnerable to online perpetrators.
  • Concerns that others may be using online technology to access or abuse the child.
  • Adults appear to be using a range of methods to communicate with the child.
Offering her drugs seemingly in return for sex
  • Child is being sexually exploited
  • Concerns that the child has been raped
  • Perpetrators are sexually abusing the child
  • The child is being sexually abused
  • The child’s vulnerability regarding drug use is being used by others to abuse them.
  • The perpetrators have a hold over the child by the fact that they have a drug dependency.
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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Upcoming training events

Child Sexual Exploitation for Practitioners

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Sexual Abuse: Dispelling Myths and Reducing Risks

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Contextual Safeguarding and Complex Safeguarding

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Online Safety

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Young People and Substance Misuse

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Safeguarding Skills for Managers

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