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WiSE Up to Boys & Young Men Research

17th October, 2017

The Sexual Exploitation of Boys & Young Men in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex Report was commissioned by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and concentrates on scoping the understanding and prevalence of the sexual exploitation of boys and young men in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex.

A six-month study by the YMCA DownsLink Group’s WiSE (What is Sexual Exploitation) Project has revealed a complex picture in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex with the wider public failing to realise boys may be at risk as well as girls.

The majority of people interviewed for the report considered girls to be more vulnerable than boys, acknowledging that sexual exploitation of boys and young men ‘must go on’ but it wasn’t something they had contemplated.

Almost half of boys and young men considered girls to be more vulnerable than they were while nearly three-quarters of parents said they were more likely to worry about a daughter being sexually exploited than a son. Boys were considered by many to be more likely to be seen as perpetrators rather than victims.

The investigation showed gaps in the knowledge of ways in which boys and young men could fall victim. For example, peer-on-peer exploitation, in which children and young people are sexually coerced by their peers, was vastly under-acknowledged: only one in five children and young people considered that ‘people the same age’ may sexually exploit boys, compared to 84% who identified that ‘strangers online’ may try and sexually exploit boys.

Click here to download the report.