When someone takes advantage of a young person sexually for their own benefit, this is child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Often, it starts with the abuser befriending a child using things like money, gifts, food or affection to build trust.
Boys and girls can be 'groomed' in this way and once trust is gained, an abuser may use threats, violence, bribes or humiliation to sexually abuse the child or young person.
This can happen to anyone, from very young children to older teenagers. It can happen online or in the real world.
Please consider the following advice to help you avoid falling into a trap:
- Be aware of your safety when out and about meeting people you don't know
- Be careful about what you share on social network sites - you never know where your personal details or photos may end up
- Remember that people can lie about themselves online and trick you into sending them sensitive material which could be used against you
- Never arrange to meet someone that you only know online without an adult you trust
- Try not to feel pressurised into sending sexual pictures or texts ('sexting') on your mobile phone, or use the 'Zipit' app to keep flirty chat under control
The video below will help you to understand the dangers of online 'grooming'.
Friend Request includes the views and experiences of a number of young people, a parent whose daughter was groomed through social media and extracts from a poem written by a victim who was exploited for sex.