Skip to main content

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Add to My Shortlist

What is CSE?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) happens when a young person is encouraged – or forced – to take part in sexual activity. It might be in exchange for presents, money, alcohol or simply emotional attention.

People who commit child sexual exploitation often ‘groom’ their victims to gain their trust. Later, when the behaviour of the abuser starts to change, many children are too frightened to come forward, or don't realise they are being abused. They may suffer in silence for years without anyone to talk to about what they’re going through.

It happens to children from all backgrounds and communities, right across the UK, out of sight and behind closed doors. It happens to both boys and girls, online or offline.

Child sexual exploitation is never the young person’s fault, even when they 'agree' to the sexual activity.

To get help talk to trained counsellors on the 24 hour helplines run by Childline on 0800 11 11 and the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.