Report child sexual exploitation

  1. Report child sexual exploitation
  2. Who it affects
  3. How it happens (You are here)
  4. Signs of abuse
  5. What you can do

How it happens

Many young people have been 'groomed' by an abusing adult who befriends the young person and makes them feel special by buying them gifts or giving them lots of attention.

Young people may be targeted online or in person. Sexual exploitation can also occur between young people of a similar age.

In most cases, the abuser will have power of some kind over the young person. It may be that the abuser is older or more emotionally mature, physically stronger, or that they are in a position where they are able to control or threaten the young person.

There are some situations that can make young people more vulnerable to exploitation, by becoming distant from the people who would usually look after them. Young people who are having difficulties at home, regularly go missing or have been in care may be particularly vulnerable.

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