Tomorrow (Saturday 18 March) is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day 2017.
To count down to CSE Awareness Day, each day we have been dispelling common myths about CSE that have come up through our work in the community.
MYTH: Perpetrators of child sexual exploitation are usually older men.
FACT: There is no typical perpetrator, and CSE is often committed by another young person.
Sometimes people picture child sexual exploitation to involve an older man and a young girl. The truth is that CSE can happen to young men as well as young women, and there is no one ‘typical’ perpetrator. In fact, over half of CSE offences are perpetrated by another young person.
The government’s definition of CSE states that:
“CSE is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.”
Last year, we worked one-to-one with hundreds of young people experiencing child sexual exploitation, or those who were at risk. We also work in schools running sessions raising awareness of exploitation, consent, and healthy relationships. Click here to find out more about our award-winning Empower programme.
What is child sexual exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
CSE Awareness Day 2017
Find out more about the CSE Awareness Day campaign, including ways to show your support on the STOP CSE website.