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Introduction

This practice guidance contains the policy, practice and procedures for how partner agencies and organisations should work together to safeguard children and young people at risk from sexual exploitation. It is based on the Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners (DfE, 2017) and the recommendations and requirements from the following documents and links:

This guidance also provides information about child sexual exploitation, the key principles which inform effective practice, the roles and responsibilities of relevant agencies, processes and practice in prevention, protection and prosecution plus the procedures that practitioners should follow to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people who are being sexually exploited (or who are at risk of being sexually exploited).

This guidance should help local partner agencies and organisations to:

  • Develop local prevention, intervention and disruption strategies;
  • Identify children and young people at risk of being sexually exploited; and
  • Take action to safeguard and promote the welfare of particular children and young people who are being, or at risk of being, sexually exploited.

Definition

The 2017 DfE publication Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners defines Child Sexual Exploitation as follows:

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”

Children who are sexually exploited should be treated as the victims of child sexual abuse and their needs carefully assessed. They are likely to be in need of welfare services and in many cases protection under the Children Act 1989.

Child Sexual Exploitation can also include children who have been sexually abused through the misuse of technology (see E-Safety: Children Exposed to Abuse through the Digital Media Safeguarding Practice Guidance), coerced into sexual activity by criminal gangs or the victims of trafficking (see Modern Slavery and Child Trafficking Safeguarding Practice Guidance).

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in this context, depends on effective joint working between different agencies and professionals. Their full involvement is vital if children are to be effectively supported and action is to be taken against perpetrators of sexual exploitation. Everyone should be alert to the risks of sexual exploitation and be able to take action and work together when an issue is identified.


Risks

Any child may be at risk of sexual exploitation, regardless of their family background or other circumstances.

Sexual exploitation results in children suffering harm, and causes significant damage to their physical and mental health. It can also have profound and damaging consequences for the child’s family. Parents and carers are often traumatised and under severe stress. Siblings can feel alienated and their self-esteem can be affected. Family members can themselves suffer serious threats of abuse, intimidation and assault at the hands of perpetrators.

There are strong links between children involved in sexual exploitation and other behaviours such as:

In addition, some children are particularly vulnerable, this includes:

All practitioners and foster carers should create an environment which educates children about child sexual exploitation, involving relevant outside agencies where appropriate. They should encourage children to discuss any concerns with them, or with someone from a specialist child sexual exploitation project. In Hull this is the Care (Children at Risk of Exploitation) Project which is part of Cornerstone. Children should also be encouraged to share any such concerns about their friends.

It is often presumed that children are sexually exploited by people they do not know, however evidence shows that this is not the case and children are often sexually exploited by people with whom they feel they have a relationship, e.g. a boyfriend / girlfriend. Children are often persuaded that the boyfriend / girlfriend is their only true form of support and encouraged to withdraw from their friends and family and to place their trust only within the relationship.

Many children are groomed into sexually exploitative relationships but other forms of entry exist. Some children are engaged in informal economies that incorporate the exchange of sex for rewards such as drugs, alcohol, money or gifts. Others exchange sex for accommodation or money as a result of homelessness and experiences of poverty. Some children have been bullied, coerced and threatened into sexual activities by peers or gang members which is then used against them as a form of extortion and to keep them compliant.

Due to the nature of the grooming methods used by their abusers, it is very common for children who are sexually exploited not to recognise that they are being abused. Practitioners should be particularly aware that young people aged 16 and 17 may believe themselves to be acting voluntarily and will need practitioners to work with them so they can recognise that they are being sexually exploited. This is not an issue, which affects only girls and young women, boys and young men are also exploited. However, they often may experience other barriers to disclosure.

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It can take many forms from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for attention, accommodation or gifts, to serious organised crime and child trafficking.

What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power within the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim, increasing the dependence of the victim as the exploitative relationship develops.

Technology such as mobile phones or social networking sites, can play a part in sexual exploitation, e.g. through their use to record abuse and share it with other like-minded individuals or as a medium to access children in order to groom them.

Sexual exploitation has strong links with other forms of crime, e.g. domestic abuse, online and offline grooming, the distribution of abusive images of children and child trafficking.

The perpetrators of sexual exploitation are often well organised and use sophisticated tactics. They are known to target areas where children gather without much adult supervision, e.g. parks, takeaway outlets, shopping centres or sites on the Internet.

Consent

This extract from The Office of the Commissioner for Children (OCC) Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (Nov 2012) helps to consider issues around consent.

"The law not only sets down 16 as the age of consent, it also applies to whether a person has given their consent to sexual activity, or was able to give their consent, or whether sexual violence and rape in particular took place. In the context of child sexual exploitation, the term 'consent' refers to whether or not a child understands how one gives consent, withdraws consent and what situations (such as intoxication, duress, violence) can compromise the child or young person's ability to consent freely to sexual activity."

Practitioners must also consider other factors which might influence the ability of the person to give consent, e.g. learning disability / mental ill health. Young people under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity. Sexual intercourse with children under the age of 13 is statutory rape. A child under 18 cannot consent to their own abuse through exploitation.


Indicators

Anyone who has regular contact with children is in a good position to notice changes in behaviour and / or physical presentation that may indicate involvement in sexual exploitation.

Parents/carers and anyone in a position of responsibility with a child should know how to monitor online activity and be prepared to - monitor computer usage where they are suspicious that a child is being groomed online.

The fact that a child is 16 or 17 years old should not be taken as a sign they are no longer at risk of sexual exploitation.

Children with a disability may have increased vulnerability as well as young people up to the age of 21 who were looked after for whom the local authority has statutory care leaver responsibility and / or where there may be child in need and/or child protection issues.

Barnardo's 'Puppet on a String' report 2011 sets out three different models of activity in the spectrum of sexual exploitation:

Inappropriate relationships The abuser has power which is physical, emotional or financial, or control over a young person. The young person may believe they are in a genuine friendship or relationship with the abuser. The abuse can exist in isolation in that the individual perpetrates the abuse or can involve the young person being introduced and abused by other people.

'Boyfriend/Girlfriend' model of exploitation and peer exploitation

The ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ grooms the victim by striking up a seemingly loving relationship with them, giving them gifts and going out. Victims may be required to attend parties and have sex with multiple men or women, threatened with violence either to themselves or their loved ones if they don’t. They may also be made to introduce their friends as new victims. Peer exploitation is where children are forced or coerced into sexual activity by peers and associates. Sometimes this can be associated with gang activity, but not always.

Organised / networked sexual exploitation or trafficking

 

Children (often connected) are passed through networks, possibly over geographical distances, between towns and cities where they may be forced / coerced into sexual activity with multiple men. Often this occurs in 'sex parties', and children who are involved may be used as agents to recruit others into the network. Some of this activity is described as serious organised crime and can involve the organised 'buying and selling' of children by perpetrators.

Practitioners should receive training on child sexual exploitation, and therefore be aware of the key indicators of child sexual exploitation. The list below is not exhaustive but they include:

Online

Technology is widely used by perpetrators as a method of grooming and coercing their victims, often through social networking sites and mobile devices such as Smart phones. The perpetrator will groom the child/young person online, and may identify themselves as a young person of a similar age. The perpetrator may communicate with the child via a web cam, attempting to strike up a relationship which may then progress to asking the child/young person to send indecent images of themselves. The perpetrator may then start to pressurise the child/young person and blackmail them by threatening to tell their parents or share the images. This form of abuse usually occurs in private, or in semi-public places such as parks, cinemas, cafes and hotels. It is increasingly occurring at ‘parties’ organised by the perpetrators for the purpose of giving victims drugs and alcohol before sexually abusing them.

The use of media and technology is now a common feature of the social activity of most young people. A perpetrator’s first contact with a child is often online and sexual exploitation online can take on the following forms:

  • Grooming children online for the purpose of sexually abusing them. This might involve an adult pretending to be a child, befriending the child through online chat rooms, social networking websites, email, mobile telephone messaging, gaining their trust, stalking their online activities;
  • Asking children to participate in non-contact sexual activities such as engaging in sexual conversations online or via mobile telephone;
  • Asking children to take and share indecent images of themselves online or through a mobile telephone;
  • Asking children to display sexualised behaviours or perform sexual acts that are recorded or shared live via webcam;
  • The creation, storage and distribution of child abuse images (also referred to as indecent images);
  • Arranging to meet a child in person for the purpose of sexually abusing them.

Specific risks associated with computers and mobile/smart phones

  • Spending increasing amount of time on social networking sites (e.g. Facebook);
  • Accessing dating agencies via mobile phones;
  • Unexplained increased mobile phone/gaming credit;
  • New contacts with people outside of town;
  • Spending increasing amount of time with online friends and less time with friends from school or community;
  • Increased time on webcam especially if in bedroom;
  • Going online during the night;
  • Being secretive using mobile phone for accessing social networking, more than their computer;
  • Unwilling to share/show online contacts;
  • Concerns that a young person’s online friendship has developed into an offline relationship;
  • Concern that inappropriate images of a child or young person are being circulated via the internet/phones;
  • Arranging to meet people they have met online;
  • Exchanging inappropriate images in exchange for gaining knowledge/phone and gaining credits;
  • Receiving gifts through the post from someone the young person doesn’t know;
  • Concern that a young person is having an online relationship;
  • Concern that a young person is being coerced to provide images;
  • Sharing of inappropriate images amongst friends;
  • Concerned that a young person is being bribed by someone for the inappropriate online activity;
  • Concern that a young person is selling images via the internet for money;
  • Concern that a young person is being drawn into providing increasingly provocative/sexualised images in exchange for payment;
  • Negotiating a price for sexual activity/images;
  • Concern that a young person is selling sexual services via the internet;
  • Being bullied/threatened/pressured.

Health

  • Physical symptoms (bruising suggestive of either physical or sexual assault);
  • Chronic fatigue;
  • Recurring or multiple sexually transmitted infections;
  • Pregnancy and/or seeking an abortion;
  • Evidence of substance misuse;
  • Sexually risky behaviour.

Education

  • Truancy/disengagement with education or considerable change in performance at school.

Emotional and Behavioural Issues

  • Volatile behaviour exhibiting extreme array of mood swings or use of abusive language;
  • Involvement in petty crime such as shoplifting, stealing;
  • Secretive behaviour;
  • Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults;
  • Reports of being seen in places known to be used for sexual exploitation.

Identity

  • Low self-image, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour, e.g. cutting, overdosing, eating disorder, promiscuity.

Relationships

  • Hostility in relationships with professionals, family members, carers and significant others;
  • Physical aggression;
  • Placement breakdown;
  • Reports from reliable sources (e.g. family, friends or other professionals) suggesting the likelihood of involvement in sexual exploitation;
  • Detachment from age-appropriate activities;
  • Associating with other children who are known to be sexually exploited;
  • In a sexual relationship with a significantly older person, or younger person who is suspected of being abusive;
  • Unexplained relationships with older adults;
  • Possible inappropriate use of the Internet and forming relationships, particularly with adults, via the Internet;
  • Excessive receipt of text messages or phone calls;
  • Adults or older youths loitering outside the home;
  • Persistently missing, staying out overnight or returning late with no plausible explanation;
  • Returning after having been missing, looking well cared for in spite of having no known home base;
  • Missing for long periods, with no known home base;
  • Going missing and being found in areas where they have no known links.

Please note: Whilst the focus is often on older men as perpetrators, younger men and women may also be involved and practitioners should be aware of this possibility.

Social Presentation

  • Change in appearance;
  • Going out dressed in clothing unusual for them (inappropriate for age, borrowing clothing from older children).

Family and Environmental Factors

  • History of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse; neglect; domestic abuse; parental difficulties.

Housing

  • Pattern of previous street homelessness;
  • Having keys to premises other than those known about.

Income

  • Possession of large amounts of money with no plausible explanation;
  • Acquisition of expensive clothes, mobile phones or other possessions without plausible explanation;
  • Accounts of social activities with no plausible explanation of the source of necessary funding.

This is not an exhaustive list and each indicator is not in itself proof of involvement or predictive of future involvement in sexual exploitation, but they should give rise to considering whether an assessment of the child is required to determine their needs and whether they are or are likely to be suffering harm.

Anyone who is in possession of information that may lead to the identification of victims or perpetrators e.g. vehicle registration numbers, names, physical descriptions should share this with the Police Protecting Vulnerable People Unit.

Practitioners should be aware that many children who are sexually exploited do not see themselves as victims. In such situations, discussions with them about concerns should be handled with great sensitivity. Seeking prior advice from specialist agencies may be useful. This should not involve disclosing personal, identifiable information at this stage, unless the practitioner has the consent of the child to do so.

In assessing whether a child is a victim of sexual exploitation, or at risk, careful consideration should be given to the issue of consent. It is important to bear in mind that:

  • A child under the age of 13 is not legally capable of consenting to sex (it is statutory rape) or any other type of sexual touching;
  • Sexual activity with a child under 16 is also an offence;
  • It is an offence for a person to have a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year old if they hold a position of trust or authority in relation to them;
  • Where sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old does not result in an offence being committed, it may still result in harm, or the likelihood of harm being suffered;
  • Non-consensual sex is rape whatever the age of the victim; and
  • If the victim is incapacitated through drink or drugs, or the victim or his or her family has been subject to violence or the threat of it, they cannot be considered to have given true consent; therefore offences may have been committed;
  • Child sexual exploitation is potentially a child protection issue for all children under the age of 18 years and not just those in a specific age group.

Children Who Go Missing

A significant number of children who are being sexually exploited may go missing from home or care, and education. If a child does go missing, please see Children who Runaway / Go Missing from Home and Care Safeguarding Practice Guidance.

Independent Return Interviews with the child or young person can help in establishing why they went missing and the subsequent support that may be required, as well as preventing repeat incidents. Information gathered from return interviews can be used to inform the identification for Referral and Assessment of any child sexual exploitation cases.


Protection and Action to be Taken

Hull Safeguarding Children Board’s multi-agency response to tackling sexual exploitation is grounded in the following key principles:

  • A child-centred approach. Action is focused upon the child’s needs – professionals should be aware that children do not always acknowledge what may be an exploitative and abusive situation;
  • A proactive approach. This is focused upon prevention, early identification and intervention, as well as disrupting activity and prosecuting perpetrators;
  • Parenting, family life, and services. Taking account of family circumstances in deciding how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • The rights of children. Children are entitled to be safeguarded from sexual exploitation just as agencies have duties in respect of safeguarding and promoting welfare;
  • Responsibility for criminal acts. The responsibility for the sexual exploitation of children lies with the abuser either the person who pays for sex, in some way, or the person who grooms the child and/or organises the exploitation. The focus of Police investigations and of prosecutions should be on those who coerce, exploit and abuse children;
  • An integrated approach. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015) sets out a tiered approach to safeguarding universal, targeted and responsive. Within this, sexual exploitation requires a three-pronged approach tackling prevention, protection and prosecution;
  • A shared responsibility. The need for effective joint working between different agencies and professionals underpinned by a strong commitment from managers, a shared understanding of the problem of sexual exploitation and effective coordination by the Hull Safeguarding Children Board.

When a child is identified as suffering or likely to suffer sexual exploitation, a referral should be made to the Access and Assessment Team. All necessary action should be taken to safeguard the child. In extreme cases this may require the Police to utilise their powers under Section 46 of the Children Act 1989 and place the child under Police Protection. See Core Procedures for more information.

See also Hull Safeguarding Children Board - Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy 2014 - 2017.


Multi Agency Child Exploitation (MACE) and Pre MACE Panels and Risk Indicator Tool (RIT)

MACE meetings identify high risk or complex victims and/or offenders in relation to CSE, offering added value solutions to the victim’s care plans and clearly identifying disruption and the criminal justice responses to tackle offenders. They are not care planning meetings and will not scrutinise individual care plans, neither will the panels analyse and reflect on the whole content of individual MACE assessments. The panels will instead consider activities that can be undertaken in addition to the victim’s care plan to further enhance and safeguard them. The MACE panels will scrutinise the tasks and actions for each individual discussed and review the progress and effectiveness of allocated actions, holding to account the individuals and agencies responsible for completing such tasks.

Risk Indicator Tool (RIT)

The CSE RIT (opens in Document Library) is to be used in all cases where there are concerns that a child or young person is at risk of or is experiencing sexual exploitation.

The RIT should be developed alongside with, and be complimentary to, any other plan for the young person’s welfare or safeguarding.

It would be best practice to complete the form on an agency wide database, as this allows for central data to be collated from the RIT forms that would help strategic understanding with regard to Hull’s CSE problem profile, whilst it also provides evidence on the child or young person’s case record that the risk of sexual exploitation has been considered and assessed.

Completing the RIT assists with understanding and allowing the exploration of some of the vulnerabilities and indicators present when a child or young person might be at risk of or experiencing sexual exploitation. Completing it also provides evidence to support any subsequent actions or interventions as implemented at the local MACE meeting.

Pre – MACE Screening

The Pre – MACE membership is intended to meet the requirements of both operational credibility and compliance with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015), i.e. a multi-agency panel including Police, Children’s Social Care, Health and specialist voluntary CSE youth workers that can meaningfully contribute to the discussion. At the Pre – MACE meeting, all MACE assessments and RITs submitted will be scrutinised, the risk assessment reviewed and any further information held by agencies added and considered.

It is the responsibility of practitioners to update their RIT and return them within a given time frame. The panel will then make a determination as to whether enough information has been provided to make an informed decision. Following this determination the agenda and lists are confirmed and distributed to agencies for research and preparation for the MACE panel. If panel feels that the MACE assessment lacks adequate information, then it will be returned to the author with the requirement that identified gaps are filled. If they are unable to meet the deadline, then they are required to attend the meeting to present the case to allow decision making.

The Pre-MACE panel have developed clear eligibility criteria for decision making which is embedded and maintains continuity and consistency.

All Pre – MACE decision making is clearly recorded within the MACE RITs and all panel members have to be in agreement before the outcome is finalised.

The MACE panels will also present an opportunity for mapping and analysis of hotspots, victims, offenders and addresses that are currently considered the highest risk of CSE, to ensure appropriate intelligence is gathered and shared which informs decision making and future activities. The MACE panels produce a ‘task and action’ log for each individual discussed which sets out exactly what additional activities are to be undertaken to enhance the victim’s care plan and reduce the likelihood of further offending via appropriate offender disruption tactics. The task and action log is shared with the lead professional of the child victim or perpetrator to ensure that information is being appropriately shared.

The MACE panels are attended by relevant professionals who can assist in the planning process and in formulating a protection plan. Agencies share information and intelligence in order to ensure a two-fold response, i.e. provide a safety plan for the child and disrupt the activity of perpetrators. Work is continuing to develop the process on a multi-agency basis and to ensure that engagement work with young people is prioritised in these areas.

The contribution of the voluntary sector at these panels is also vital, emphasised by the ongoing support and effort of the Hull Cornerhouse Project, who continue to help young people in Hull access support in relation to CSE. This includes the provision of additional accommodation of a safe place for young people to talk to adults and be safe. The partnership overall continues to work with over 40 young people (2016 figures) who have been assessed as potentially or at risk of CSE and discussed at a MACE panel, a smaller cohort of whom will have been subsequently identified as high risk. This includes Humberside Police action being taken against a number of adult perpetrators.

Hull Children Social Care has established a CSE specialist Pod, consisting of a Consultant Social Worker, a specialist Social Worker, a Pod Co-ordinator and 2 Youth Workers, who are co-located with Humberside Police’s CSE Team. The CSE Pod offer support to children and their families where there is a risk of CSE, and to professionals working with them. This includes direct preventative work with the children and, where required, with their parents/carers. They support and advise professionals who have completed and submitted a CSE RIT to Pre MACE or MACE. They also support with Section 47 investigations where CSE is suspected.


Additional Considerations

Working with sexually exploited children is a complex issue which can involve serious crime and investigations over a wide geographical area.

Children may be frightened of the consequences of disclosure and may need to be given time to discuss their experiences.

The need to share information discreetly in a timely fashion has been shown to be vital in these cases.

Agencies and practitioners involved with a child or young person experiencing child sexual exploitation must consider disruption strategies which support the child or young person to leave the situation they find themselves in.

The prosecution and disruption of perpetrators is an essential part of the process in reducing harm. It is the responsibility of the Police to gather evidence, investigate and interview perpetrators and prepare case files for consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with the intention of obtaining the successful conviction of offenders.

Many child sexual exploitation cases cross Police Force boundaries and therefore there should be cross boundary cooperation and information sharing. This may involve the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command (formerly Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) who can support the Police by helping to coordinate cross-boundary or international investigations involving child sex offender networks or in the management of high risk offenders which may involve grooming through chat rooms and social networking sites or involvement with paedophile rings.


Supporting Children out of Child Sexual Exploitation

Practitioners from statutory agencies and voluntary sector organisations together with the child, foster carers, and his / her family as appropriate, should agree on the services which should be provided to them and how they will be coordinated. The types of intervention offered should be appropriate to their needs and should take full account of identified risk factors and their individual circumstances. This may include previous abuse, missing incidents, involvement in gangs and groups and/or child trafficking. Health services provided may include sexual health services and mental health services. Advice should be sought from the CARE Project which works with children involved in child sexual exploitation and a referral should be made as appropriate, if the child or young person is in agreement.

For children who are Looked After issues raised and actions planned should be incorporated into the child’s Care Plan and Placement Plan, and reviewed as part of the Looked After Child Review.

Owing to the fact that the effects of child sexual exploitation can last well into adulthood, support may be required over a long period of time. In such circumstances, effective links should be made between children and adult services and statutory and voluntary organisations. For children who are Looked After, this should be incorporated into their Pathway Plan.


Identifying and Prosecuting Perpetrators

Legally, neither boys nor girls under the age of 16 years can consent to sexual activity. Both boys and girls continue to fall within the scope of the Children Act 1989 until they reach the age of 18 years. For the purposes of this practice guidance any boy or girl under the age of 18 years involved in sexual exploitation will be considered a child in need and therefore will require assessment.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced new offences to enable the Police to deal with those who coerce and abuse others through sexual exploitation. New offences to protect children up to the age of 18 include:

Under 13 Years of Age

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 now makes it clear that sexual activity with a child under 13 years is never acceptable and that, regardless of circumstances, children of this age can never legally give their consent.

Under 16 Years of Age

  • Meeting a child under 16 years following sexual grooming. This was strengthened by the Serious Crime Act (2015) it is now an offence for an adult to arrange to meet with someone under 16 for the purpose of committing a specified offence having communicated with them on just one occasion (previously it was on at least two occasions);
  • Arranging or facilitating a child sex offence – under 16 years;
  • Sexual activity with a child;
  • Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;
  • Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child;
  • Causing a child to watch a sexual act.

The Serious Crime Act (2015) introduced an offence of sexual communication with a child. This applies to an adult who communicates with a child and the communication is sexual or if it is intended to elicit from the child a communication which is sexual and the adult reasonably believes the child to be under16 years of age.

Under 18 Years of Age

  • Taking indecent photographs of a child under 18 years;
  • Abuse of a child under 18 years through sexual exploitation or pornography;
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003 covers offences involving an Abuse of a Position of Trust towards a child aged under 18 years.

The Police and criminal justice agencies lead on the identification and prosecution of perpetrators. All practitioners, however, have a role in gathering, recording and sharing information with the Police and other agencies, as appropriate and in agreement with them.

Practitioners and foster carers should bear in mind that sexual exploitation often does not occur in isolation and has links to other crime types, including:

  • Child trafficking (into, out of and within the UK);
  • Domestic Abuse;
  • Sexual violence in intimate relationships;
  • Grooming (both online and offline);
  • Abusive images of children and their distribution (organised abuse);
  • Organised sexual abuse of children;
  • Drugs-related offences (dealing, consuming and cultivating);
  • Gang-related activity;
  • Immigration-related offences;
  • Domestic servitude.

Supporting Children through Related Legal Proceedings

Where alleged perpetrators are arrested and charged with offences against children, allocated practitioners and foster carers should ensure they are supported throughout the prosecution process and beyond. Specialist agencies should be involved in supporting the child or young person, as required. This may include using special measures to protect them when giving evidence in court. Independent Sexual Violence Advisers or specialist voluntary sector services, if available, may also have an important role to play.



Amendments to this Chapter

In January 2018, links to the following documents were added into the Further Information section:

End.