How do Children and Young People come to be sexually exploited?


Grooming or targeting

Many children and young people are groomed into sexually exploitative relationships. The perpetrators of sexual exploitation are often well organised and use sophisticated tactics. They are known to target areas where children and young people might gather without much adult supervision such as shopping centres, cafes, takeaways, pubs, sports centres, cinemas, bus or train stations, local parks, playgrounds and taxi ranks, or sites on the internet used by children and young people. The process of grooming may also be visible in adult venues such as pubs and clubs. In some cases perpetrators are known to use younger men, women, boys or girls to build initial relationships and introduce them to others in the perpetrator networks



Others exchange sex for accommodation or money as a result of homelessness and experiences of poverty.



Some young people have been bullied or threatened into sexual activities by peers or gangs which is then used against them as a form of extortion and to keep them compliant.



Child sexual exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child's immediate recognition, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones, with no immediate payment or gain