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Child sexual exploitation

There are changes to the way our children's social care services are running at the moment, because of COVID-19. These changes include: assessments being completed virtually,  socially distanced face to face meetings, some services only being available over the phone or email and some of our staff needing to wear PPE (personal protective equipment)

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse where children or young people in exploitative situations and relationships receive things like gifts, money or affection in return for performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.

Children or young people at risk from CSE may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.

Some children and young people are   trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to   young people in gangs.

Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime. Young people often trust their abuser and don't understand that they're being abused. They may depend on their abuser or be too scared to tell anyone what's happening.

Could you spot the signs?

The child sexual exploitation awareness raising campaign 'Spot the Signs' is being led by the two Local Safeguarding Children Boards for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and aims to highlight the signs of child sexual exploitation, as well as what to do if you have concerns.

Spot the Signs reaches out to a number of different groups including children and young people, parents, businesses and professionals.

Signs of sexual exploitation range from changes in mood, physical appearance and eating, to appearing with unexplained gifts, secretive mobile phone use and regularly missing school.    

You may be unsure about whether you're right to be worried, but it is important that you don't keep any concerns to yourself.

Report a concern

For advice, support or to report a concern, please contact the Children's Social Care Team for your local area:


For non emergencies, please contact the police by calling 101.

If you're concerned that a child is in immediate danger, call 999 straight away and ask to speak to the police.

Support and advice for young people

Say Something is a free and anonymous service that provides 24/7 support and is a means to report child sexual exploitation. The service is run by the charity Missing People and can be contacted by calling or texting 116 000.

You can also contact ChildLine by calling: 0800 11 11

The information below may also be of help to you:

Smartphone and Sexting

Smartphones are everywhere and both parents and children are concerned about how the devices can be used for sexting, as well as the repercussions this can have.

Sexting is an increasingly common activity among children and young people, where they share inappropriate or explicit images online or through mobile phones. It can also refer to written messages.

Visit the NSPCC website for help to understand the risks so that you can talk to your child about staying safe and what to do if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable.

CEASE (Campaign to Eradicate Abuse and Sexual Exploitation)

Rutland County Council supports CEASE - a major, multi-agency campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Sexual exploitation of children is an appalling crime that can affect any child, any time, anywhere - regardless of culture, ethnicity or background. We are committed to working with our partners prevent and deter CSE in all its forms.

Victims of CSE are at huge risk of damage to physical, emotional and psychosocial health. Many young people who are being abused do not realise they are vulnerable and fail to seek help. They may believe they are willing participants when in fact they are being exploited.

Please take time to learn more about CEASE by visiting the Leicestershire Police Force website and pledge your support to eradicate CSE and abuse of young people.

If you want to report concern about a child then either complete the on line form here:

Report a Concern for a child

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