Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is when a child or young person is pressurised, forced, or tricked into taking part in any type of sexual activity with an adult or young person.
It can happen face to face or online.
Examples of CSE include:
- Being offered gifts or money in exchange for sexual activity
- Being blackmailed into sexual activity by someone threatening to share photos of you online
- When a person uses their position of authority (i.e. your teacher, youth worker etc.) to get you to have sexual activity with them
- Someone who forces you to have sex with you or with their friends
- Someone taking advantage of you and making you do things you don’t want to do
- Being made to do something to yourself or to someone else that feels uncomfortable or wrong. This could be online or face to face.
Take a look at the signs of CSE so you know what to look out for.
If you’re being sexually exploited you might think that you’re in a normal, loving relationship.
But it’s important to remember that being controlled, made to do things you don’t want to do, and being hurt (both emotionally and physically) are not signs of a real relationship.
If someone has sex with someone who is under the age of 16 they are breaking the law and should be reported.
CSE can happen to anyone – boys and girls of any ethnicity, religion, background and whether you’re gay or straight.
It’s never the young person’s fault and it is not ok.
If you think that this might be happening to you or someone you know then it’s important you speak out.
Speak to someone you trust – a parent, carer, or teacher. If you feel that there is no-one you can talk to then there are a number of organisations who can help.