Understanding child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Sometimes it’s hard for us to see when we are not being treated right and this is when family, friends, neighbours and communities are so important. Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. If someone offers you money, gifts or attention in return for sex or sexual activities, this is known as Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). You may be tricked into believing you’re in a loving, consensual relationship and you might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. You may also be groomed and exploited online.

Sexual exploitation can involve people of a similar age as well as adults. It could involve your sister, brother, cousin or friend. It’s not always easy to spot the signs but it’s up to all of us to look out for them.

Signs that a person might be trying to groom you could be:

  • They may make you feel special about yourself and shows you a lot of interest.
  • They may offer you gifts like money, clothes, a mobile phone
  • They might try to involve you in things that seem exciting such as using alcohol or drugs, going to parties or taking you to new places
  • They might introduce you to other adults
  • They may offer you a place to chill at or spend the night.
  • They might make you feel that they understand you and are they only person you can depend on

It’s not OK for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to!

The Story of Jay – Grooming – Seeing the Signs


The NSPCC have published this video to help you spot the signs of grooming. Grooming and sexual exploitation can happen to any young person. Sometimes relationships aren’t what they seem. Can you see the signs that something isn’t right in this relationship?

How can I get help?

If it doesn’t feel right, tell someone you trust. A teacher, youth worker, adult family relative, parent or…

  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • Wiltshire Police: 101 – for help and advice
  • Wiltshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0300 456 108
  • Wiltshire Police: 999 – if you or a friend is in immediate danger.

You can also get help from the Emerald Team, your, local Specialist Team, which is made up of specialists from children’s social care and the police. They can give you lots of help and advice if you’re worried about yourself or someone else. Call the Emerald Team on 01249 709400.

Be aware, Stay alert, Keep Safe!

What is sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse involves persuading or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, or encouraging a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

The sexual abuse of children is more than just physical sexual contact and includes sexual touching clothed or unclothed, all penetrative sex, intentionally engaging in sexual activity in front of a child and making, permitting to take, distributing and showing or advertising indecent images of children.

The Wiltshire Youth Safeguarding Board put together some Wiltshire specific key messages taken from the CSA problem profile below:

Approved - YSB - CSA YP Friendly


If you would like more information about child sexual abuse, Wiltshire Youth Safeguarding Board have drawn together some key messages. You can view and download them here.