What is Child Sexual Exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse. Act on your concerns in the same way as you would for other safeguarding concerns by seeking advice and contacting Children’s Social Care or the Police. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
CSE can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.
There are 3 important and recognisable elements of child sexual exploitation:
- Children are ‘groomed’ and there is power and control held by the perpetrator/s.
- An ‘exchange’ (such as gift, food, money, drugs, etc) is present, this could be to a third party and not always to the child themselves.
- Sexual acts or the exchange of sexual images is present.
Locally, the CSE strategy has been led by the Somerset Safeguarding Children’s Board. They have produced guidance on warning signs, risk assessment and referral pathways. See http://sscb.safeguardingsomerset.org.uk/working-with-children/cse-protocols/ for further information.
FREE FROM FEAR
Free From Fear is a film premiere, designed by young people, to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation among young people. Three spoken word performances on surviving sexual abuse through the viewpoint of the older self, giving strength to the younger self.
These are some of the many help-lines, support networks and resources for children, young people, parents and carers; including those in relation to child sexual exploitation:
A free, private and confidential service where you can be you. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, however you want to get in touch. They are available online, on the phone, anytime.
Contacting ChildLine by phone: 0800 1111
Message boards (Want to say how you're feeling? Or ask a question? Here you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations): https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/message-boards/
Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people
Monday – Friday 12pm – 10pm
Saturday – Sunday 6pm – 10pm
Somerset Talking Therapies
They offer a wide range of treatments for adults 18 years of age and over who are registered with a GP surgery in the Somerset area, in a variety of different ways. How to access talking therapies:
If you are already receiving treatment through Somerset Partnership you can speak to your Health Professional who can refer you to us for an Emotional Health Check. Call 0300 323 00 33 To book yourself in for an Emotional Health Check with one of our team.
PACE / Parents Against Child Exploitation
Pace national parent support helpline: If you are parent with any concerns that your child is being exploited or is at risk, call their national support team on 0113 240 5226.
PACE information library online: http://paceuk.info/for-parents/advice-centre/
NWG Network / Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation
The NWG is a charitable organisation formed as a UK network of over 14 500 practitioners who disseminate our information down through their services, to professionals working on the issue of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and trafficking within the UK.
NWG online for parents: https://www.nwgnetwork.org/for-parents/
NWG online for young people: https://www.nwgnetwork.org/for-young-people/
NWG on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/cseresponseunit/
CEOP / Child Exploitation and Online Protection command
CEOP is a law enforcement agency and is here to help keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online. They help thousands of children and young people every year who have been in a similar situation to you. For more information about CEOP go to their website: https://www.ceop.police.uk/Safety-Centre/How-can-CEOP-help-me-YP/
If you have been a victim of online abuse or you're worried about somebody else, let CEOP know securely: https://www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting/
South Somerset MIND
South Somerset Mind is an independent charity that was formed in 1985. They are affiliated to the national charity Mind.
If you feel you are in crisis, you might like to know where you can find help and support in addition to the free help available from Mind, ring Mindline .
They will listen, support and understand and talk to you through your options. The line is open between 8pm and 11pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Mindline: 01823 276892
The MIND team provides information on a range of topics.
MIND infoline 0300 123 3393.Offering advice and support information on a range of topics including, types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments and advocacy. Their lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).
Text / SMS: 86463
Provides listening and support services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities across the UK.
Contact 0300 330 0630 (10:00 – 23:00 7 days a week)
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. CALM confidential helpline providing a listening, information and support service for men.
Contact 0800 58 58 58
Open 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year
Find help online: https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/get-help/