What is Exploitation?

When somebody is exploited, it is never their fault.

If somebody is under 18 when they are exploited it is a form of child abuse. The terms Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) are used when people under 18 are exploited in these ways.  



Perpetrators of sexual exploitation might be:

  • An adult or another young person 
  • Any gender or sex 
  • Any ethnicityreligion, or nationality 
  • Any sexuality 
  • In a position of trust or power (such as a youth worker, sports coach, religious leader, teacher, police officer, a celebrity) 
  • Involved in other criminal activities (such as drug dealing, violence, organised crime) 
  • Friendlybelievable and attractive 
  • Somebody the victim has known a long time, or somebody they have just met 
  • A friend of a friend 
  • Somebody online or on social media 

Victims of sexual exploitation might be:

  • Any gender or sex; male, female, nonbinary, agender or something else 
  • Any ethnicity, religion, or nationality  
  • Be attracted to males, females, both, or nobody  
  • Live with family, be in Care, live in supported accommodation or live alone 
  • Have physical health problems, disabilities, mental health problems, or learning difficulties 
  • Rich, poor, or something in between 
  • Have had sex before, or have never had sex before 
  • Top of their class, or excluded from school 
  • Have a child of their own 
  • Unaware that what is happening to them is exploitation 

Victims of sexual exploitation are never to blame for the actions of perpetrators, and have the right to be safe from harm.

Links to more information:

NSPCC    Childline    CEOP    NWG    PACE

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