Child Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child or young person’s immediate recognition; for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
What are the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation?
going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late
regularly missing school or not taking part in education
appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions
associating with other young people involved in exploitation
having older boyfriends or girlfriends
suffering from sexually transmitted infections
mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing
drug and alcohol misuse
displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour
Effects of child sexual exploitation
Both sexual exploitation in person and online can have long-term effects on a child or young person. They may:
struggle with trust and be fearful of forming new relationships
become isolated from family and friends
fail exams or drop out of education
become pregnant at a young age
have mental health problems
make suicide attempts
abuse alcohol and drugs
take part in criminal behaviour
PCYoung people and their families often require a range of support over a long period of time to assist them in overcoming the impact of CSE.
What is the Southend Safeguarding Partnership (Children) (SSCP) doing in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation?
Southend SSPC has prioritised and is committed to tackling CSE. It works together with the Safeguarding Partnerships of Essex and Thurrock to coordinate its response to this issue. Our CSE Policy details how agencies, including the Police and Children’s Services, will work together to identify children and young people at risk of CSE; share information; assess their needs; support them and their families; and disrupt and pursue perpetrators through the criminal justice system. All SSPC partner agencies have a CSE Champion to help professionals in their organisation to identify and support children and young people at risk of CSE.
If you are concerned that a child is at risk of sexual exploitation, you can contact:
Southend Borough Council MASH+ Team on 01702 215007 (0845 606 1212 outside office hours) or
Essex Police on 101, or
Ask to talk to the safeguarding children lead or child sexual exploitation champion at your local school or college, GP surgery or other health provider, Probation office, or Housing Association