Remember, we're a confidential service.

How to cover your tracks for viewing this site.

Call or text for free on 116000

What you need to know about "Sexual Exploitation"

We hope what you see here helps. If you are feeling like running away or are away from home, we are here to listen.
Call or Text 116 000 or email For free and in confidence.
For info about 1-2-1 chat times or to chat live, click the pink chat button below.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation (sometimes called child sexual exploitation or CSE) is when a young person is forced or tricked into doing something sexual, sometimes receiving something in return like love, affection, money, drugs or alcohol.

The person who does this may be a boyfriend, girlfriend, mate, an adult in your life or someone you’ve just met. This can happen in person and it can also happen when chatting online to new people. It can happen to both boys and girls.

Sexual Exploitation

A good relationship should be built on trust and understanding. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the first weeks of a new relationship especially if lots of the experiences are new too; cars, parties, meeting new people, going to new places. Sometimes though, these good times come at a price and people who you’ve grown to like and spend time with, are not good for you. They might ask you to do things that you don’t want to, and you might do it because you want to please them or you think you can’t say no.

You may be forced to have sex, or do other sexual things like oral sex or touching. You might be asked to do things with others like touching them or dancing with them. You may be made to watch others have sex or do things. You may be asked to take naked photographs and videos or do sexual things via web-chat. It can feel good to have someone tell you they love you, buy you gifts, take you round in their car and look after you. We all want to be loved and have someone special in our life. Love in a good relationship should be about respect and care. You should never be asked to do anything with anyone you aren’t comfortable doing and it is not ok for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to.

Listen to your instinct; if it doesn’t feel right, say something.

If you want to talk about how you are feeling, need some advice or want to pass information on to the police but don’t want to tell them yourself, Runaway Helpline can help you. If you are worried about yourself or someone, we are here for you. We will listen to, understand and help you.

We know that it’s hard to start talking about secrets or problems. We know that sometimes it’s hard to talk to a teacher, parent, the police or social worker, especially when you think they will have to do something with the information you give them. We know that sometimes it’s difficult to know who to talk to at all. It can be so hard to put your trust in someone after everything you’ve been through and to believe that there is a way out. Lots of abusers will try to bully and threaten people into not saying anything. This is a way of them keeping control and not getting in trouble. You should not have to stay silent if this is happening to you.

If you are hurt and need medical help or you are worried that you might have a sexually transmitted infection or are pregnant it’s a good idea to get some medical help. You can speak to Brook online confidentially as a starting point to see what your options are or go to your doctor if you feel you can.

You might be worried that you won’t be believed. Maybe you were drinking or taking drugs when it happened so you feel confused. It is never your fault and we will believe you and listen if you want to talk about what you think happened. We won’t know who you are unless you choose to tell us and we can pass information on to the police for you so they can help stop your abuser.  It’s your call.

Remember, you deserve to be loved by people who makes you feel happy and treats you with respect.

Are you thinking of running away because you have been affected by Sexual Exploitation?
Get in touch with us
Share this article

who else can help?

It looks like you’re accessing this website from outside the United Kingdom.

The Runaway Helpline can only provide services to children and young people within the United Kingdom, and information and advice on this site relates to the UK only.

I understand