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Child sexual exploitation

This is a form of child sexual abuse. It is when someone takes advantage of a difference in power to force, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual activity. This may be in exchange for something the child needs or wants. Sexual activity might be in exchange for food or shelter. It might also be in exchange for money or gifts, alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation is never the victim’s fault, even if there is some form of exchange.

Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact. It can occur through the use of technology. It might occur without the child realising that what is happening is abuse. For example, if a child is persuaded to share sexual images on the internet.

Child sexual exploitation can occur in all communities and any social group. It can affect girls and boys. All children and young people under the age of 18 have a right to be safe and be protected from harm.

For more information see our advice pages on:

Child exploitation

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