We work in schools to raise awareness of CSE and we run prevention programmes to help young people who are at risk of sexual exploitation. We also deliver a range of training to professionals and have been instrumental in CSE policy and strategy development.
What is CSE?
There are many definitions of CSE but here is ours, which borrows from those set out in government guidance:
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves under-18s in exploitative situations, contexts and relationships. This can involve the young person (or another person) receiving something such as food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts or money in exchange for the young person performing sexual activities or having sexual activities performed on them.
There is a growing body of research into CSE but much of this research does not give a clear picture of the extent of CSE in the UK. What is clear is that CSE poses a very real threat to some young people on a daily basis.
Research also shows that grooming and sexual exploitation of young people takes many forms. It can involve technology where the child or young person is persuaded to share sexual images via the internet or mobile phones with no immediate payment or gain.
A young person may be coerced into sexual activities as a result of threats of violence against them or their family. CSE can involve both gangs or groups and individuals and in all cases, it is an abuse of power by the perpetrators by virtue of their age, gender, intellect and physical strength and/or economic or other resources.