How it is Defined

The NWG Network has developed the following definition, which is utilised in the UK government guidance and policy.

“The 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 performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no 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”.

Child sexual exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no 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.

(The National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People, 2008).

“Some one taking advantage of you sexually, for their own benefit. Through threats, bribes, violence, humiliation, or by telling you that they love you, they will have the power to get you to do sexual things for their own, or other people’s benefit or enjoyment (including: touching or kissing private parts, sex, taking sexual photos)”.

As defined by the Young Women’s Group, New Horizons: 2008 (the Nia Project & The Children Society).

“Its when you don’t know your choices that other people have all the power”

(Taken from ‘Out of the Box: young people’s stories’ written by young people from Doncaster Streetreach and NSPCC London projects).

 

Sexual Exploitation Of A Child

The sexual abuse of children (under 18 years) through exploitation and trafficking is harmful and extremely damaging, even life threatening, whereby children and young people are enticed and coerced into sexual acts.

The sexual exploitation and trafficking of this vulnerable section of society is a criminal act: a violation of the human rights of children and an act of violence.

The widespread nature of the crime suggests that all professionals may at some point come into contact with a person who has been exploited.

Children and young people who are Sexual Exploited and /or Trafficked can be heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, they can be female, male or transgender.

However many victimised children and young people may be reluctant to disclose offences or seek support, often due to stigma, prejudice or embarrassment or the fear that they will not be believed. Many may see themselves as able to protect themselves but in cases of CSE physical stature is irrelevant due to the coercion and manipulation used.

Despite media focus, the majority of those who are victimised are not ‘looked after’ children.

It is estimated that only 20 – 25% of victimised children and young people are ‘looked after’. Children and young people living at home can be just as vulnerable, if not more vulnerable as they may not be known to social services and therefore are less likely to be identified as vulnerable to child sexual exploitation.

Young people who are targeted for exploitation are groomed and sexually exploited in many different forms. This could be online, through street gangs, in religious environments, and by those in positions of authority including celebrity. The common theme in all cases is the imbalance of power and the control exerted on young people.

The sexual exploitation of boys and young men

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) 2009, supported by research in the field acknowledges that boys and young men, as well as girls and young women can be sexually exploited. Research in this area has been undertaken by Barnardo’s and an increasing body of knowledge of issues involved is developing (See resources). However there is a need for wider recognition and understanding of the issue.

 

Why does the sexual exploitation of boys and young men continue to go unrecognised?

Young men have explained that practitioners often overlook their sexual exploitation. There is some evidence that young men who are being sexually exploited are more likely to be criminalised for their behaviour and viewed as a perpetrator. Young men’s victim hood often goes unrecognised and professionals may tend to focus on boys and young men’s outward behaviour, such as offending or drug and alcohol use, without questioning the reasons behind it.

Behaviours that may be likely to be recognised as evidence of risk for a girl or young women may be interpreted as a young man experimenting with their sexuality or demonstrating sexually harmful behaviours to others.

In addition boys and young men may be less likely to, or find it more difficult to disclose than young women. Without a disclosure it may be difficult for professionals to justify the time commitment to support a young man at risk of, or suspected of being sexually exploited.

 

How can you as a professional recognise that a young male is being sexually exploited?

Professionals need to see beyond the outwardly displayed behaviour of young men and consider the reasons behind it. Professionals need to consider how and why young men may have become involved with drugs and alcohol or ask how criminal behaviour has formed part of a young man’s life? The same questions should be asked of boys and young men as would be asked of girls and young women. Young men need to be reported missing just as readily as young women and the appropriateness of their relationships needs to be considered openly. Professionals need to provide consistent and reliable support without expectation of disclosure. Boys and young men are unlikely to disclose for a long time, if ever, and when other professionals are likely to have tired of ‘getting nowhere’.

NWG Network: Boys and Young Men’s Forum: If you would like to learn more about this area of work there are various training opportunities and you can also become a member of the NWG Network Boys and Young Men forum which meets three times per year. For more details please visit our events page or contact network@nwgnetwork.org

“Details of forthcoming meetings for the Boys and Young Men’s Forum”: Keep updated with forum dates by subscribing to our newsletter and checking the Events Calendar

More information and real stories can be accessed HERE on our public awareness website.  Resources for working with boys and young men can be accessed through our resources library tabs.

Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

UK and migrant children are trafficked into within and out of the UK for sexual exploitation this is a brief overview of the Trafficking process. It should always be borne in mind by any practitioner that a child subject to Human Trafficking is considered by the trafficker as a commodity and a source of income that they have in many cases paid for, or invested time and expense in recruiting or grooming for their benefit.
If they lose that source of income or benefit they may go looking for it, so any child removed from a place or situation of exploitation may still be at risk from the trafficker.
The indicators are not definitive and the same indicators could be present in more than one type of exploitation, just as the child victims could be subject to more than one type of exploitation.
However one vulnerability is present in all forms of child trafficking that is the imbalance of power between the trafficker and the victim, in some situations this could leave the child vulnerable to sexual exploitation which may not be apparent at first contact this possibility must always be foremost in a responders mind.
The Trafficking process has several distinct phases.

  •  Recruitment or grooming
  •  Travel/transportation
  •  Arrival
  •  Exploitation
  •  Rescue/Escape
  •  Return/Rehabilitation
  • Non school attendance or excluded due to behaviour
  • Staying out overnight with no explanation
  • Breakdown of residential placements due to behaviour
  • Unaccounted for money or goods including mobile phones, drugs and alcohol
  • Multiple STI’s
  • Self harming
  • Chronic alcohol and drug use
  • Criminal offending
  • Being moved around for sexual activity
  • Multiple miscarriages or terminations
  • Offering to have sex for money or other payment then running before sex takes place
  • Receiving rewards of money or goods for recruiting peers
  • Disclosure of physical sexual assault and then refusing to make or withdrawing complaint
  • Frequenting ‘red light’ district
  • Being taken to clubs and hotels by adults and engaging in sexual activity
  • Overt sexualised dress, sexualised risk taking including on Internet
  • Getting into cars with unknown adults or associating with known CSE perpetrators
  • Trafficker speaking for the child
  • Having a much older boy/girlfriend
  • No travel or identity documents
  • Does not speak English

The International definition of Human Trafficking in the context of a child Sexual Exploitation is;

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child, for the purpose of exploitation.

Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation.

Sexual exploitation is a complex problem with social, legal, political, economic and ethical dimensions.

It takes many singular and interrelated forms including pornography, prostitution, paedophilia, trafficking in human beings, and affects people of different ages, sexes and communities. Sexual exploitation has profound and damaging consequences for individuals exploited and those around them including families and communities. Targeting and grooming of children often brings psychological implications for parents and other family members; it can become almost impossible for them to carry on with their life and be able to respond effectively to the crises at hand. They feel their lives have been turned upside down from a situation they have never anticipated. It can undermine parents’ capacity to respond proactively to the needs of their children. Lack of knowledge of the operation of abusers, patterns of grooming, impact of exploitation on their children can contribute to crises, pushing parents into despair.

Families in such situations need advice and support. PACE has been pioneering in support work to parents affected by child sexual exploitation. Founded by an affected parent, PACE continues to be driven by the experiences and needs of affected parents and works alongside them so that they can become active agents in responding to the sexual exploitation and abuse of their children.

Information provided by PACE (UK) (Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation). More information on supporting parents can be found on the PACE website.

More information about the direct effects of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) on Parents and Carers and Supporting Parents and Carers can be found in both our Public Resources section and our Members Resources section.

Sexual Exploitation and Migrant Human Trafficking.

The Law

Section 2 Modern Slavery Act 2015

Says that anyone who intentionally arranges or facilitates the arrival or entry into the UK of a child,
The travel within the UK or
the departure from the UK view to the sexual exploitation of the child
Commits the offence of Human Trafficking.

The offence is split into 3 sub sections let’s look at each of them;

A)   Arrival or Entry into the UK, anyone arranging or facilitating the arrival or entry has to intend to exploit the child after arrival in the UK.
B)   Within the UK, anyone who arranges or facilitates the travel within or departure from the UK  of a child within the UK for the purpose of  exploiting the child commits the offence of Human Trafficking.
C)   Out of the UK, anyone who arranges or facilitates the departure of a child from the UK for the purpose of exploiting the child commits the offence of Human Trafficking.

If a person arranges or facilitates the travel in within or out of the UK and believes that another person intends to exploit the child then both persons commit the offence.

A person who is a UK national can commit this offence regardless of:
(a) Where the arranging or facilitating takes place, or
(b) Which country is the country of arrival, entry, travel to or departure.

A person who is not a UK national commits an offence under this section  if :
(a) Any part of the arranging or facilitating takes place in the UK,
b) The UK is the country of arrival, entry, travel or departure.

Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking within the UK.

The Law

Section 2 Modern Slavery Act 2015

Says that anyone who arranges or facilitates the travel of a child within or departure from the UK for the purpose of exploiting the child commits the offence of Human Trafficking. For example arranging or facilitating could just be telling a child to get a bus, train, or other transport to a location where exploitation will take place. The offence has to be intended to be committed during or after a journey within the UK.

For example there is no definition on distance travelled so a child can be trafficked from street to street within the same town or village. If a person arranges or facilitates the travel within the UK and believes that another person intends to exploit the child then both persons commit the offence.

For example where a taxi driver take a child to an address knowing the child is going to be exploited even though he does not do anything himself to the child he commits the offence This carries a maximum sentence of LIFE imprisonment at Crown Court and is a lifestyle offence for the Proceeds of Crime Act. Which means the Police can seize cash and assets on conviction.

Because the word intends is used in the legislation in theory the activity does not have to take place.

If evidence can be obtained from others sources that a person intends to move a child to exploit them that could be enough to convict. For example a text message found on a persons phone arranging the travel and exploitation

See our Human Trafficking Resources for 60 second briefing sheet; myths v reality, What is the advantage of using the Trafficking Legislation in the case of UK children subject to CSE? and Consent.

Sexual Exploitation in Families

It takes many singular and interrelated forms including pornography, prostitution, paedophilia, trafficking in human beings, and affects people of different ages, sexes and communities. Sexual exploitation has profound and damaging consequences for individuals exploited and those around them including families and communities. Targeting and grooming of children often brings psychological implications for parents and other family members; it can become almost impossible for them to carry on with their life and be able to respond effectively to the crises at hand. They feel their lives have been turned upside down from a situation they have never anticipated. It can undermine parents’ capacity to respond proactively to the needs of their children. Lack of knowledge of the operation of abusers, patterns of grooming, impact of exploitation on their children can contribute to crises, pushing parents into despair.

Families in such situations need advice and support. PACE has been pioneering in support work to parents affected by child sexual exploitation. Founded by an affected parent, PACE continues to be driven by the experiences and needs of affected parents and works alongside them so that they can become active agents in responding to the sexual exploitation and abuse of their children.

Information provided by PACE (UK) (Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation). More information on supporting parents can be found on the PACE website.

More information about the direct effects of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) on Parents and Carers and Supporting Parents and Carers can be found in both our Public Resources section and our Members Resources section.

Sexual Exploitation and Sport

The NWG are currently working in partnership with Dr Mike Harthill from the Department of Sports and Physical activity from Edge Hill University on a pan European research project involving 8 Universities from across Europe looking at the prevalence of sexualised violence in sport.  The project is called VOICE,  for Truth and Dignity.

The key actions of the project are;

To conduct a European research study with those who have been affected by sexual violence in sport in 8 European countries.
Stage 8 national or regional “Acknowledgement Forums” with key stakeholders from the sport and victim-support communities Develop networks, exchange good practice and generate educational resources for the European sports community Disseminate outputs to the wider European sports community.
The VOICE project will generate crucial research data on sexual violence in European sport by listening to the voices of those that have been affected by sexual harassment and abuse. This evidence-base and the voices of former victims will be used as a platform to produce a powerful knowledge-exchange and educational resources enhancing the European sports community to combat sexual violence and strengthen integrity in sport.

Dr Harthill would like to hear from anyone who has been affected by sexualised violence in sport and who would be willing to participate in this important research. More information about the VOICE project can be found at their web site and contact details are also available if any one would like to participate ,

http://voicesfortruthanddignity.eu/

If you would like more information or a chat about this project please do not hesitate to give me a call

Kevin Murphy.

Education and Community Development Officer,

07399449045

kevin@nwgnetwork.org

Voices for truth and dignity:
Combatting sexual violence in European sport through the voices of those affected 

Recently BBC Radio 5 Live in the UK broadcast and hour long special investigation into surviving abuse in sport. In the presentation former Spanish gymnast Gloria Viseras recounted her harrowing story of how she was sexually abused by her former coach over a period of time and how she felt totally powerless to stop him.  

Gloria has now become involved in a European funded research project to help bring this subject matter to light and to thoroughly research how prevalent sexual violence is in sport. During the programme Gloria revealed how isolated and powerless she felt to stop the abuse despite coming from a good home with caring parents.  

This highlights the power that some sports coaches have over their young charges. In todays sporting arena and the media frenzy that currently surrounds our sports stars along with the wealth that some can accumulate is a very motivating factor for young people to become involved in sport and it can also be a motivator to not report abuse. The risk of reporting abuse can end dreams of Olympic glory or other sporting futures and we should also not over look the fact that boys and young men are also being abused. 

The full extent of sexualised violence in sport  is unknown but we know it exists, there has been high profile cases in England, Ireland and America concerning swimming coaches being convicted of abusing young swimmers. From 2000 until 2010, 36 swimming coaches were disciplined in America for abusing young swimmers, just recently there have been several allegations from cyclists from the GB cycling team complaining about abusive behaviours from some coaches. Although non has identified sexualised behaviours as being present it is still worrying that they such abusive behaviours are still present in 2016. However abusive behaviours are wrong and should not be used in sport as a means of control, manipulation or as a behaviour strategy. 

One of the key outcomes from this research is to help identify people who are victim/survivors of abuse within sport and to hear their stories so all sporting communities from Europe can learn from them, we need to develop a change in culture where our young athletes are safe and free from any forms of abuse and if they are concerned they should have the confidence and freedom to report things that our young athletes are not happy about. 

Gloria’s  radio broadcast is still available on-line at http://bbc.in/1qAoYXL please do have a listen to this remarkable lady    

2016-07-05_14_47_29-voices_for_truth_and_dignity__combating_sexual_violence_in_sport

Overview

The VOICE project will generate crucial research data for the European sport community by listening to the voices of those that have been affected by sexual violence in sport.

The resulting evidence-base will provide a platform for powerful knowledge-exchange opportunities and educational resources.

The objective is to enhance the sports community’s capacity to combat sexual violence and strengthen integrity in sport.

Sheila Taylor MBE sits on the Steering group for ‘VOICE’

We’ll be tweeting about this project using: #VOICEeu

E-Sport

E-sport is one of the countries fastest growing sporting experiences that is gaining popularity amongst dedicated gamers. E-sport is developing a world wide fan base and has a significant level of support to be included as recognized sport in the 2020 Olympic games.

In 2015 the UK games industry was worth £4.2billion, an increase of 7.4% from 2014.

The rise in popularity in this sector is a most welcome boost for the UK creative industry, however questions must be raised about how safeguarding is promoted within this industry. There has been numerous convictions reported in the media in recent years of young people being assaulted and groomed on line by perpetrators who have met young people following an interactive gaming session.

Now with the boom in e-sports and the increasing numbers of young people wanting to participate in this growing sporting activity, questions must be raised with the sports governing bodies about how young people can protect themselves against hostile and aggressive on-line behaviours and also grooming. At a forthcoming event in the UK in September 2016 the organisers have recognised that abusive behaviours and grooming does occur as they have mentions these behaviours specifically in their code of conduct for all attendees.

“Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated during EGX events. Harassment includes verbal abuse, discrimination, threats of violence, ‘trolling’, any other form of intimidation and filming or photographing people against their wishes”

This is a good starting point and a clear recognition and awareness that abusive behaviours do occur within the on-line gaming industry and that they are not acceptable, however more is needed and required by the whole sector to highlight this growing problem to ensure children and young people are safe and not exposed to abusive behaviours.

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Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music by James Rhodes – review:

The Link between Sexual Exploitation and Missing

It is estimated that in the region of 250,000 reports of missing persons are made to police forces throughout the United Kingdom each year [1] and 140,000 of these are children. The link between Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and children and young people going missing is inextricable since going missing can be both a cause and a consequence of being sexually exploited.

Barnardo’s (in 2011) identified that 50% of sexually exploited young people they worked with in 2009/10 went missing on a regular basis and 2011-12, 128 of the children and young people contacting Missing People were identified as experiencing or at risk of CSE.

At present the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) (formerly The Association of Chief Police Officers – ACPO) definitions are as follows:

Missing – “Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstance are out of character or the context suggests the person may be subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.”
Absent – “A person not at a place where they are expected or required to be.” (ACPO, 2013, pg. 5).

Typical examples of ‘absent’ may include:

• Failing to return on time.
• Staying at a known location, such as with a friend.

Thus, absent is to be used in cases where there are grounds to believe that the absence involves no apparent risk, or the level of risk is a tolerable one not meeting the threshold for a police-led missing person investigation. In such circumstances there will remain an expectation that reasonable enquiries will continue to be conducted by the reporting agency, after the report to the police. Should the circumstances subsequently develop to a determination that the person is in fact ‘missing’ an expedient police response will ensue. Hence, the police response is likely to differ between cases of ‘missing’ and of ‘absent’.
Please see our resource section for further information or click HERE for real case stories on our public awareness website www.stop-cse.org