What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status.

Abusers may use the power they have over young people to sexually abuse them. Their power may result from a difference in age, gender, intellect, strength, money or other resources.

Each year in England thousands of children and young people are sexually abused or forced into sex. Some children are abused by partners, who then force the child or young person into having sex with friends or associates.

The exploitation may involve penetrative sexual acts, sexual touching, masturbation and the misuse of sexual images – such as on the internet or by mobile phone.

It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16.