Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology
Sexual exploitation affects thousands of children and young people every year. Sexual Exploitation can be hard to detect and abusers are very clever in their manipulation. Some young people won’t even be aware that it is happening to them.
Barnardos have a specialist Child Sexual Exploitation worker who works specifically with young people at risk of sexual exploitation and raises awareness through training to staff, young people and foster carers of issues involving child sexual exploitation.
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