What is it?
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
What are the signs?
• going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late
• skipping school or being disruptive in class
• appearing with unexplained gifts or possessions that can’t be accounted for
• experiencing health problems that may indicate a sexually transmitted infection
• having mood swings and changes in temperament
• using drugs and/or alcohol
• displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour, such as over-familiarity with strangers, dressing in a sexualised manner or sending sexualised images by mobile phone("sexting")
• They may also show signs of unexplained physical harm, such as bruising and cigarette burns
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA's)
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors are trained specialists who provide practical and emotional support and are independent from statutory agencies such as Police and Social Care. ISVAs are there to help victims understand what their options are, their legal rights and what services are available to them. They help victims understand how the criminal justice process works, and will explain things, such as what will happen if the crime reported to the police, and the importance and process of forensic DNA retrieval.
How to report it?
In an emergency situation, always dial 999. To report a crime in any other circumstances, contact police on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively you can contact any of the organisations below.
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 provides powers for the Police and Crime Commissioner to award grants to any organisation or body he considers will support the community safety priorities within his police and crime plan, such as tackling drugs and crime, reducing re-offending and providing support for victims and witnesses.
From January 2020 Catch22 has been commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council to protect and support children and young people who are at risk of Child Exploitation (CRE) in Derby and across Derbyshire. They deliver bespoke support and interventions to children and young people to build resilience and aspiration, empowering them to take control of their lives and supporting them to stay safe.