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Many things can lead to CSE: young people may think they are in a healthy relationship, they might be taken to, clubs, hotels or parties, or given drugs and alcohol by people whom they trust. Young people are often led into situations where CSE can take place by friends of their own age or by relatives.
It is quite normal for victims not to realise they are at risk, because the people exploiting them are very well practiced in enticing them into situations where sexual exploitation can take place; often building trust over a long period in order to achieve their eventual goal. Abusers understand how to play upon young peoples' rebellious nature, sense of adventure and naivety by taking them to places that are normally off limits or by giving presents that are normally beyond the young persons reach.
Extract from See me-Hear me website:
CSE is when a young person is coerced or forced to take part in sexual activity in return for some kind of payment, such as drugs, money, gifts or even protection and affection.
This sexual activity does not have to be in person, it could be via technology in the form of images or videos.
Young people do not give consent to being sexually exploited –it is a form of sexual abuse.
There are many reasons why young people may not tell anyone they are being sexually exploited:
- they often do not recognize themselves as victims because of the grooming and manipulation they have experienced
- they are often threatened with violence or physically hurt to maintain their silence
- they are worried that they won't be believed, or don't know how to start to talk about what is happening to them
Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime that can affect any child, any time regardless of their gender, home life, religion or ethnic background.
Offenders are not just adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual exploitation, as can other children. It is important that we all know the signs to look out for and how to report concerns, so that together we can prevent CSE.
To find out more about Child Sexual Exploitation, please visit http://www.seeme-hearme.org.uk
If you feel that either yourself or someone you know is being abused in this way, it is vital that you report this. The following page contains a useful list of people and organisations that you can contact: http://www.seeme-hearme.org.uk/report-it.html