Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.

Children or young people may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.

CSE involves situations and relationships where a young person under the age of 18 may receive gifts such as smartphones or trainers, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, or money, in return for performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them.

It is a form of child abuse where a young person is encouraged, trapped, forced or coerced into a sexual relationship.

Children are often groomed for sexual exploitation and it can occur through the use of new technology without it being immediately obvious, for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on social media, the internet or smartphones.

Violence, coercion and intimidation are common. They can be difficult to identify but are never a young person’s fault.

What to do?

What do you do if you or someone you know is experiencing child sexual exploitation? If you are under 18 years old, you can call ChildLine at any time on 0800 1111 to speak to a counsellor. Calls are free and confidential. You can also visit where they have online chat, email and message boards.

You can also talk to an adult you know and trust; this may be a teacher, a social worker, a family friend, a parent or a friend’s parent.

If you have any concerns about a child being harmed or at risk of harm please contact us. Children and their parents may need urgent help. Please contact the Brent Family Front Door on 020 8937 4300 or email If you are calling outside of normal office hours (9am to 5pm) please call our emergency duty team on 020 8863 5250.

If you believe a child is in immediate danger you should phone the police and call 999.