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Reroute exists to empower and educate all on the risks and signs of childhood sexual exploitation and childhood sexual abuse, so sex trafficking can be prevented before it begins.

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Police recorded child sexual offences in 2021/22: Police forces in England and Wales recorded 103,055 child sexual abuse offences during the year, 15% more than in the previous year. This was the first time that the figure exceeded 100,000. One-third of these offences involved child sexual abuse images, another third related to rape or sexual assault of a child, and the remainder related to abuse through sexual exploitation, grooming and sexual activity with a child.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse (CSA). It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive (groom) a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the survivor needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator/facilitator.

Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or nonpenetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).

One of the key factors found in most cases of child sexual exploitation is the presence of some form of exchange (sexual activity in return for something); for the survivor and/or perpetrator or facilitator. Where it is the survivor who is offered, promised or given something they need or want, the exchange can include both tangible (such as money, drugs or alcohol) and intangible rewards (such as status, protection or perceived receipt of love or affection). It is critical to remember the unequal power dynamic within which this exchange occurs and to remember that the receipt of something by a child/young person does not make them any less of a victim.

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Child sexual exploitation is never the survivor’s fault, even if there is some form of exchange: all children and young people under the age of 18 have a right to be safe and should be protected from harm.

What is Reroute doing to respond to CSE?

Azalea is acutely aware that 100% of the women met in Encompass have experienced CSA and/or CSE. As guests grow in their trust of the team, some of them share snippets of the horrors that they endured as children. One guest has spoken about the sexual abuse she experienced from the age of 3 years old. Fast forward a number of years, in adulthood all of these women are continuing to be actively sexually exploited and trafficked.

Reroute wants to prevent as many children as possible from experiencing the lifelong ramifications of CSE/CSA. Reroute exists to proactively educate all people (including children themselves, parents, other guardians, professionals who work with children) about CSE/CSA and equip them to recognise the signs and to take action to protect and safeguard children. 

We are active in responding to concerns raised by family members, of their loved ones showing signs of grooming, delivering tailored talks in schools, hosting stands at careers fairs, and much more.

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