Spot The Signs


Do you know the signs?

Child sexual exploitation is happening now across Staffordshire and in Stoke-on-Trent.

It can happen to any child or young person of any gender, from any background. It doesn't just happen to older children, and it can start really easily.

Spotting child sexual exploitation can be difficult, but it is vitally important that you feel confident in spotting the signs of abuse.

It could be happening to you or someone you know.

Child sexual exploitation can take many forms, and it can wreck lives.

It’s not okay.

Warning Signals

Victims of abuse are unlikely to tell anyone that they are being abused. They may think they are in a loving relationship, or that they have no choice.

That’s why it’s vital to be able to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

CSE is a hidden crime that can happen to anyone under the age of 18: male or female; straight, gay or bisexual; disadvantaged or privileged and whatever their culture and religion.

Offenders can be women and children, as well as adult males from any ethnic background.

Victims of grooming, blackmail and sexual abuse may show some of the following signs:

  • A new, older friend
  • Sudden, unusual mood changes
  • A new phone or other gifts appearing out of the blue
  • Having marks or scars on their body that they try to hide
  • Avoiding usual friends and family
  • Taking excess alcohol or drugs
  • Spending a lot of time online or on mobile phones
  • Skipping school
  • Not coming home/going missing

Signs of exploitation

Spotting warning signs can be difficult, however, if anything in this list happens to you, or a friend, then you should be in no doubt that this is exploitation.

Remember if you are concerned about you or a friend please, get help or report it.

You are a victim of exploitation if any of the following happen in your relationship.

  • Threatening to end your relationship if you don’t have sex
  • Asking or making you have sex with other people
  • Expecting sex in return for food or a place to stay
  • Sharing drugs or alcohol with you in return for sexual acts
  • Threatening to stop being friends if you don’t perform sexual ‘dares’
  • Giving you gifts or money in return for sexual acts
  • Asking you to take sexual photos of yourself or share them online or by text
  • Threatening to humiliate or share sexual images of you if you don’t carry out more sex acts

Videos to help spot the signs

Here are some useful videos that can help you spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

Do you know the signs of child sexual exploitation?

It’s everyone’s responsibility

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