Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation, sometimes called CSE, is when you (or sometimes someone else) receive ‘something’ (e.g., food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money, membership of a gang) as a result of you performing a sexual activity or someone performing a sexual activity on you. This might be physical penetrative sex, oral sex, or taking nude photos or videos of yourself. It might happen online or in person.

It can be difficult to know if you are in an unhealthy relationship and being exploited. You may think the adult is your boyfriend or partner, you may think they love you. They may take you to parties and give you alcohol or drugs. You may have an online 'relationship' and haven't met yet. You may be being tricked, humiliated or blackmailed in to doing things you don't want to do.

If you ever feel unsure, unsafe or get that sick feeling in your tummy, it could mean you’re not comfortable with what’s happening. You must listen to your feelings. It is never ok for someone to pressure you to have sex, do something sexual or dangerous,

You have the right to say how you feel and to be respected. Consent in relationships is about feeling in control and saying yes or doing things because you choose to, not because someone is pressuring you to.

Learn more about consent, healthy and unhealthy relationships, sexting and grooming on the Childline website.

As with any concerns and worries you have, the first step is telling a trusted adult about what is happening so they can help to make it stop. If there isn't anybody you can tell, then you can call ChildLine at any time of the day or night for advice and support. You don't even have to give your name if you don't want to.

Say Something also offer a free, 24-hour, anonymous phone and SMS helpline, 116 000, enabling young people to disclose information and seek support. The Say Something campaign has been developed with young people and aims to safeguard vulnerable children and young people by empowering them to identify early indicators of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

Don't suffer alone. You have the right to live a happy and safe life.

The following websites also give more information:


Think U Know - what you need to know about online friends

How to stay safe online