Sometimes abusers use violence and intimidation to frighten or force a child making them feel as if they've no choice.
Any child can be a victim of child exploitation and anybody can be a perpetrator of child exploitation, no matter their age, gender or race. The relationship could be posed as friendship, someone to look up to or romantic. Children who are exploited may also be used to 'find' or coerce others to join groups.
Spotting the Signs of CCE
CCE is happening in all areas of the country, including in Wakefield.
A child won't always act or feel like a victim, often because they have been groomed to feel respected and important to criminals. It is the responsibility of all who work with children and families to know the signs and to act if you suspect a child is in danger.
The most obvious sign is a change in a child's behaviour from what is considered as 'normal' for them.
Other signs can include:
- Withdrawal from usual group of friends and a mention of older or new friends
- Having gifts, a new phone or money that can’t be accounted for
- Becoming withdrawn or secretive
- Receiving a large number of calls or messages to their phone or being worried about being away from their phone
- A drop in grades or performance, as well as suspension or exclusion from school
- Going missing from home or not showing up to school or regular afterschool groups or clubs
- Become involved in low level criminality such as antisocial behaviour
Spotting the signs of CSE
Sexual exploitation can be difficult to spot and sometimes mistaken from 'normal' teenage behaviour.
Signs can include:
- Unhealthy or inappropriate sexual behaviour
- Being frightened of some people, places or situations
- Being secretive
- Sharp changes in mood or character
- Having money or things they can't or won't explain
- Physical signs of abuse, like bruises or bleeding in their genital or anal area
- Alcohol or drug misuse
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Having an older boyfriend or girlfriend
- Staying out late or overnight
- Having a new group of friends
- Going missing from home or care or stopping going to college or school
What is HSB?
HSB is an inappropriate sexual behaviour which is displayed by a child and may be harmful and/or abusive.
It can be displayed towards children and adults. In addition to the harm caused to those who it is directed at, it is also harmful to the child who displays the behaviour.
HSB is increasingly presenting through technology, known as 'Technology assisted HSB'. Technology assisted HSB can include:
- Viewing pornography
- Viewing / sharing indecent images and videos of children
- Revenge porn
NSPCC Learning provides a detailed overview of HSB including advice on how to respond to incident, how to create safe spaces and culture for children, online training and resources including a podcast series with episodes covering: