What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse whereby young people are taken advantage of by an individual or group who use an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity. The young person may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. CSE often involves the young person being offered something in return for performing sexual acts, such as alcohol, cigarettes, gifts, money, drugs and affection.

The Portsmouth Safeguarding children website is a good source of information and there is also a One Minute Guide to CSE on there.

How to report

If you are concerned about a young person always report your concerns promptly by contacting the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on 02392 688793. The Out of Hours contact number is 03005 551373.

If you don’t know who the child is but see something suspicious please report it by calling the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

You can also report concerns on a Community Partner Information Form.

Other useful links

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

A national children’s charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.

Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE)

The leading national charity working with parents and carers of sexually exploited children.


A UK organisation campaigning against child trafficking and exploitation.

More information and help can be found on the following websites:

Barnardo’s – Support for children and families who have been affected by CSE.

ThinkUKnow – Easy to understand advice on keeping safe for children aged 5-14+.

Internet Watch Foundation – UK internet hotline for anyone to report online child sexual abuse imagery and non-photographic child sexual abuse images anonymously.