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Child sexual exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual, emotional and physical abuse of children (age under 18). Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative 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). 

It can be difficult to recognise the warning signs of CSE as they are similar to the challenges that all parents of teenage or near-teenage children face.

It's important that you know how to spot the signs of CSE, whether you are a parent, young person or a member of the public. If you are a child or young person worried about CSE, see the Child Abuse and Neglect page for more information and support.

There are lots of useful websites below for parents, carers and the general public. These include more information about what CSE is, how to spot the signs, how to report it as well as advice and support for families who have experienced CSE.

More information about CSE

Safe and Sound - Grooming Models

PACE - Keep Them Safe

PACE - The Grooming Models

PACE - The Grooming Models 'In the Spotlight'

Spotting the signs of CSE


NHS Choices - How to Spot Child Sexual Exploitation

Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE)

Parents Protect

Safe and Sound

Advice and support for families affected by CSE

Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE)

MOSAC (Mother's of Sexually Abused Children)

PACE - Keeping it Together: A Parent's Guide to Coping with Child Sexual Exploitation (February 2015)

PACE - The Role of Parents in Child Sexual Exploitation Investigations (February 2015)

Last updated: 09 March 2018