Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual 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
Changing peer groups
Unexplained money or gifts, including mobile phones
Regularly going missing
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.
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.
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 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
Have you been asked to put money in your bank account by a friend, or through someone you have met online?
They might have said you can keep some of the money, just for putting it into your account and then drawing or transferring it out again.
This is sometimes known as squaring, money laundering or being a money mule. It might sound harmless and an easy way to make a bit of cash, but it could actually be linked to serious crime and could have real consequences for you in the future.