Accessibility tools

Sexual Exploitation

As we get older we form all different kinds of relationships: close friends, school mates, friends in our area and even boyfriends and girlfriends.

Relationships aren’t always easy and they can be difficult to understand. In any relationship it’s really important that you feel safe, loved, respected and free to be yourself.

You should never feel scared, controlled or forced in to doing things that you don’t want to do.

Child sexual exploitation is a type of sexual abuse. Children in exploitative situations and relationships receive something such as gifts, money or affection as a result of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.

Child sexual abuse online

When sexual exploitation happens online, young people may be persuaded, or forced, to:

  • Send or post sexually explicit images of themselves
  • Take part in sexual activities via a webcam or smartphone
  • Have sexual conversations by text or online

Child sexual exploitation in gangs

The best way to stop these criminals exploiting young people is for people to refuse to use drugs. Sexual exploitation is used in gangs to:

  • Use power and control over members
  • Initiate young people into the gang
  • Exchange sexual activity for status or protection
  • Entrap rival gang members by exploiting girls and young women
  • Inflict sexual assault as a weapon in conflict

What can you do?

Call the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 or email

Think you know

Department of Education




Watch Kayleigh’s story here – By Leicestershire Police based on a true story