How does it affect young people?
A young person may not feel that they are a victim of CSE, or recognise that something is wrong. They may feel content in a ‘loving’ relationship. Likewise they may not talk about the abuse, feeling that it would be a ‘betrayal’ and fearing consequences from their abuser.
Here are three stories from victims of CSE.
"I would be given drugs and alcohol and told that I looked grown up and that what they were doing to me was normal and I was the one which was abnormal for making a fuss."
"I would often climb out of my bedroom window to go and meet my friends in the early hours to go drinking and taking drugs, I thought it was fun and it helped me forget my problems."
"At the age of eight I was abused by a family member and by ten-years-old I was regularly self-harming – banging my head and sticking needles in myself."