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Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) – Information for Parents/Carers

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is recognised as a form of child sexual abuse and has become a great concern in society. At KAA we strive to support and educate our students about how to make positive choices and informed decisions in their relationships.  It is imperative that each student understands the importance of protecting themselves from all potential forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Definition

“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.”

Child Sexual Exploitation

  • can affect any child or young person (male or female under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex);
  • can still be abuse even if the sexual activity appears consensual;
  • can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non-contact sexual activity;
  • can take place in person or via technology, or a combination of both;
  • can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
  • may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (through others copying videos or images they have created and posting on social media, for example); can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse; and is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.

Potential indicators of child sexual exploitation

  • Acquisition of money, clothes, mobile phones etc without plausible explanation;
  • Gang-association and/or isolation from peers/social networks;
  • Exclusion or unexplained absences from school, college or work;
  • Leaving home/care without explanation and persistently going missing or returning late;
  • Excessive receipt of texts/phone calls;
  • Returning home under the influence of drugs/alcohol;
  • Inappropriate sexualise behaviour for age/sexually transmitted infections;
  • Evidence of/suspicions of physical or sexual assault;
  • Relationships with controlling or significantly older individuals or groups;
  • Multiple callers (unknown adults or peers);
  • Frequenting areas known for sex work;
  • Concerning use of internet or other social media;
  • Increasing secretiveness around behaviours; and
  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being

CSE is a complex form of abuse and it can be problematic for those working with children to detect. Parents and Carers have an essential role to play in protecting and supporting their child from child sexual exploitation. It is vital as parents and carers that you educate your child/children on sex, health relationships and abuse, resilience, provide a safe base and ensure there is great forms of communication. Child sexual exploitation can occur some form of exchange, however what must be made clear is that child sexual exploitation is never the victim’s fault.  All children and young people under the age of 18 have a right to be safe and should be protected from harm.

At KAA our SRE Curriculum plays an important role in helping our students gain an understanding of acceptable and unacceptable relationships and sexual behaviour. As a school, we want our KAA students and families to be able to turn to us and practitioners for help and support from abuse and exploitation.

KAA Actions

  • Promote healthy and safe relationships through SRE curriculum
  • Raise pupils’ awareness of sexual exploitation and grooming at an age appropriate level through PHSE lessons, which will be led by staff;
  • Raise staff awareness of sexual exploitation and grooming through staff training;
  • Help parents to understand the issues by sharing information at parents’ meetings
  • Signposting through additional communication, e.g. newsletters and KAA website;
  • Contribute to multi-agency safeguarding and child protection arrangements;
  • Participate in regular safeguarding and child protection training, which also includes information on CSE.

It is essential that all parents and carers understand what your child/children has gone through, the risks they may take and how they can be protected because this can improve family relationships and equip you with the knowledge to keep your child/children safe.

Important and useful information can be found on the following sites to provide support to parents, carers and children: