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What is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?
Sexual exploitation is child abuse, and children and young people who become involved face huge risks to their physical, emotional and psychological health and wellbeing.
How do children and young people become involved?
The reasons can be due to numerous factors. Often vulnerable children and young people are targeted by perpetrators; however, this is not exclusive to those who are vulnerable.
Perpetrators frequently target children and young persons at venues such as hostels, food outlets, taxi ranks and outside schools. Young people who run away from home are recognised as being more at risk. However, statistics show that the majority of CSE victims in London are actually living with their families.
Some children and young people do not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and do not see themselves as victims of exploitation, as they consider they have acted voluntarily. The reality is their behaviour is not voluntary or consenting. It is important to remember that a child cannot consent to his or her own abuse.
There is a link between trafficked children and CSE. Children are frequently trafficked for sexual exploitation and this can occur within the UK and across local authority boundaries as well as across international borders.
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where the young person (or a third person/s) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, 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’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Violence, coercion and intimidation are common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic or emotional vulnerability.
A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.
The School have appointed a designated Single Point of Contact to help support young people who may be a victim of CSE or know someone who is. Please contact the staff member who is responsible for this area and or the Designated Safeguarding Lead if this is not the same person and record the concerns in CPOMS.