Child Sexual Exploitation is the sexual abuse of children and young people by adults in order to obtain sexual acts. It can happen to both girls and boys of any age and from any background. It can take the form of informal exchanges of sex for favours, money, drugs, accommodation or other commodities; more ‘formal’ forms of exploitation involving groups of organised abuse and trafficking.

Exploitation commonly happens when children and young people are ‘groomed’ and manipulated by adults in order to gain trust and make young people feel they are safe and loved.

Child sexual exploitation can happen in different ways. It can involve an older adult exerting financial, emotional or physical control over a young person to involve them in sexual activity. It can involve other young people manipulating or forcing other children into sexual activity with adults. Exploitation can also involve opportunistic or organised networks of perpetrators who may profit financially from trafficking young victims between different locations to engage in sexual activity with multiple men.

Technology is widely used by perpetrators as a method of grooming and coercing victims, often through social networking sites, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, BBM (Blackberry Messenger) and mobile devices.

More information about Child Sexual Exploitation is available in the resources section.

If you are worried that a child or young person you know may be being sexually exploited you should speak to PHOENIX EXIT, Bolton’s Child Sexual Exploitation Team for advice on 01204 337195 or email