“For children over 10, sexual exploitation is the most pressing and hidden child protection issue in this country.” Anne Marie Carrie’
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse (defined as anyone under 18 years of age).
It is complex and can manifest itself in many different ways. Children and young people are given something which may be drugs, accommodation, gifts or affection. Affection is a result of them performing sexual activities, or others performing sexual activities on them.
Child sexual exploitation can occur without any physical contact, children and young people are groomed to post sexual images of themselves on the internet.
In all cases those who exploit children or young people have power over them, either by virtue of their age or physical strength.
Exploitative relationships are characterised in the main by the child’s limited availability of choice, compounding their vulnerability. This inequality often takes many forms, however the most obvious include coercion, violence, and deception.