Lancashire Constabulary is committed to preventing child sexual abuse, helping victims and bringing offenders to justice. It is a crime that can affect any child, anytime, anywhere - regardless of their social or ethnic background.
Sexual exploitation is child abuse and, although they may not realise it, it puts the young victim at huge risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health.
While there is no stereotypical victim of exploitation, there are warning signs in children's behavior that may indicate something is wrong – and if you know what you're looking for, you can take steps to help them.
What are the signs that a child is being exploited?
- Has the young person received unexplained gifts or money?
- Do they use their mobile phone secretively?
- Do they have significantly older friends?
- Have they been picked up from home or school by someone you don't know?
- Are they associating with other young people who are already known to be vulnerable or involved in exploitation?
- Have they started playing truant from school or regularly going missing from home?
- Have they suffered from a sexually-transmitted infection?
- Are they self-harming?
- Has their appearance changed?
We will continue to target, warn and prosecute offenders to hit home the message that this type of behavior is not just unacceptable, it is criminal, and we will pursue those people involved and bring them to justice, irrespective of their backgrounds.
To find out what makes a child more at risk and what is being done across Lancashire to tackle the problem click here.
If you have a concern and want to talk to somebody, then you can use the details below: