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Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)


To find out more about what Azalea does to combat Child Sexual Exploitation, visit our FACES page (Faiths Against Child Sexual Exploitation).

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Children in exploitative relationships receive something such as gifts, money or affection as a result of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.

Children or young people can be groomed or tricked into thinking they are in a loving relationship where in fact they are being manipulated.

They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed or abused online. Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. You can read more about the different forms this abuse takes here.

This is the definition by the Department for Education:

"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."

For more information please read this leaflet produced by the Luton Safeguarding Children Board, read guidance for professionals or watch this short film on 10 key facts about CSE.

What to do if you are worried about a child

Members of the public

  • If the child is in immediate danger, call the Police on 999.
  • If you want to discuss your concerns with a social worker, please contact the Rapid Intevention and Assessment Team (Duty Desk) – 01582 547653
  • To report your concerns to Bedfordshire Police, please ring non-emergency number101.


Go to the Luton Safeguarding Children Board website which will provides you with information about the signs a child may be at risk, how to report abuse and more resources.

Spot the Signs

Here are a number of telltale signs a child/young person may be being groomed for sexual exploitation, this is not an exhaustive list.

• Regularly miss school or not taking part in education

• Staying out at nights, regularly return home late and/or returns home after long intervals and appears well cared for. Defensive about where they have been and what they’ve been doing.

• Appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions, money, mobile phones, clothes, jewellery, etc

• Suffers from sexually transmitted infections

• Mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing, use of language, their physical appearance.

• Displays inappropriate sexualised behaviour

• Are secretive or withdrawn. Look tired or ill, sleeping during the day

• Associate with older men and develop a relationship of a sexual nature with a significantly older man or a woman.

• Use drugs and alcohol

• Receive more phone calls or text messages than usual

• Marks or scars on their body which they try to conceal by refusing to undress or uncover parts of their body

• Exhibit self harming behaviour or suicidal tendencies