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Children's Services

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is when a child or young person (anyone under the age of 18), engages in sexual activity as a result of receiving something such as food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, accommodation, drugs, money, or affection. It’s a process of grooming where the abuser targets a child’s vulnerability, makes them feel loved or wanted as though the relationship is normal when in fact the child is being controlled through intimidation, fear or violence. It can happen to boys as well as girls, from rich and poor backgrounds, of any ethnicity and anywhere in the world, including here in Hampshire.

Recognise the signs and symptoms of CSE

Children and young people that are the victims of sexual exploitation often do not recognise that they are being exploited. However, some signs that a child may be being groomed for sexual exploitation to be alert for are:

  • going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late
  • regularly missing school or not taking part in education
  • appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions
  • associating with other young people involved in exploitation
  • having older boyfriends or girlfriends
  • suffering from sexually transmitted infections
  • mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing
  • drug and alcohol misuse
  • displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.

For more advice you can download the Spot the Signs leaflets from Barnardo’s:

Or access child sexual exploitation information and advice from Hampshire Constabulary :

What to do if you think a child is being abused?

It is important that if you recognise any signs or symptoms of abuse that you report your concerns, no matter how small. If you have any concerns because you think that a child might be being abused and you want to talk to someone or ask someone to find out what is going on you contact a range of agencies for advise and support as detailed below . If it is an emergency and a child is in immediate danger, always call 999.

Hampshire Children Services :

Monday – Friday (8.30am – 5:00pm 0300 555 1384

Out of Hours - 0300 555 1373

Police : call 101

NSPCC: 0808 800 5000

Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111 can be contacted anonymously with any information about crime.