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Advice for professionals

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Sexual exploitation is a complicated issue and children who have experienced it may have extremely complex needs.

Things to remember are:

  • Both girls and boys can be victims of child sexual exploitation and are equally vulnerable.
  • The coercer(s) and perpetrator(s) are usually an adult(s), but children and young people can also act in a sexually abusive way towards other young people or exert power e.g. group/gang members of either gender.
  • Children and young people may exchange or sell sex as a result of constrained choices such as poverty, isolation and historic abuse.
  • Although it is rare, parents/carers may be involved in the sexual exploitation of their children.
  • Groups of children and multiple perpetrators may be involved (organised abuse).
  • Be aware: disclosure of information by the child may take time and evident risks may only emerge during ongoing assessment, support and interventions with the child and/or family. 

Further information can be found in the definition and guide for practitioners.

Literature downloads

 

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