Find us on

Know And See The Signs



What can professionals do about child sexual exploitation?

Child protection procedures must be followed if anyone suspects that a young person is a victim or is at risk of becoming a victim of child sexual exploitation. It’s important that agencies work together and share information to deal with child sexual exploitation.

Knowing and seeing the signs

Information sharing and awareness raising is key to tackling child sexual exploitation. Please do all you can to promote awareness of our website and social media channels to young people. Look out for key signs in children who may be victims of child sexual exploitation. They can include:

  • ! Absence from school
  • ! Missing from home or care
  • ! Physical injuries
  • ! Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • ! Involvement in crime
  • ! Repeatedly treated for sexually transmitted infections
  • ! Pregnancies and terminations
  • ! Change in physical appearance
  • ! Evidence of sexual bullying
  • ! Unknown friends on Social Networking sites
  • ! Arguments at home with their families
  • ! Mental health Issues
  • ! Thoughts or attempts of suicide or self harming
  • ! Secretive phone calls and internet use
  • ! Older boyfriend/girlfriend
  • ! Unknown vehicles dropping the young person off
  • ! Showing the signs that they are drinking excessively or taking drugs
  • ! Tired in school
  • ! Found in the company of older men

Local Safeguarding Children Boards should have:

  • ! a child sexual exploitation strategy
  • ! a lead person responsible for co-ordinating a multi-agency response.
  • ! Multi-agency support also needs to be available to victims and their families during court cases.

Information and resources for people who work with young people or have a duty of care towards a child. If you work with or come into contact with young people, it is your responsibility to make sure that you:

  • ! Understand what child sexual exploitation is
  • ! Can recognise the warning signs
  • ! Know who to contact and how to report any concerns

Child sexual exploitation is not a new phenomenon, nor is it confined to Cheshire. However, it is has entered the public consciousness in recent years, due to some very high profile cases within the North West and other parts of the country.

It is a form of child abuse – affecting boys and girls under the age of 18 – where the vulnerable young victim is given something (e.g. food, money or drugs) in return for sexual activity with the abuser or others. It is an insidious crime that can be hard to detect and there is clear evidence that child sexual exploitation is currently under-reported.

Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic or emotional vulnerability. Often the young person does not even recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation. This means they are unlikely to report the abuse.

Report it

Make sure you know who your child protection champion in your agency is. Be aware of the procedure to follow if you have concerns about a young person.

Child sexual exploitation is A CRIME

You are not alone, there are specially trained professionals that help you. The police and their partner services will support you and your family. Report child sexual abuse to the Police by dialing 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger dial 999.