The term child sexual exploitation has been in the news a lot over the past few years, so chances are you’ve come across it. But what exactly are people referring to when they use it?
So, exploitation could happen in return for gifts like money or alcohol but it can also happen in return for affection – for example someone you meet online who seems really great and is always there for you but once you start relying on having them in your life they start to ask you for things in return.
Or if you’re going out with someone and they say they’ll finish with you if you don’t do certain things they’re asking of you.
Losing Control – Jay, a story about sexual exploitation
Whatever form it takes, if you are under 18 and someone is trying to get you to do things like send naked photos or give a flash on webcam, whether they:
Shout at you,
Or give you loads of compliments that make you feel great– it’s against the law.
The government wants everyone to be using the same definition to avoid confusion, and this is what they’ve come up with:
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It occurs 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. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.
Film Clip: Know the Signs – Emma’s story
Emma met someone she really liked. But things started changing as time went on...
Film Clip: It's not because he loves you
Film Clip: I Didn’t Know – young people and sexual exploitation