What makes a child more at risk?

Any child can potentially be sexually exploited, but there are some circumstances which increase the risk of it happening. A child with any of the following vulnerabilities should be seen as being at higher risk:

  • Abuse or neglect by parent/carer/family member
  • History of local authority care
  • Family history of domestic abuse
  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Family history of mental health difficulties
  • Breakdown of family relationships
  • Low confidence and/or self-esteem
  • History of going missing overnight, or for longer, and truanting
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Changes in mood/behaviour

“Megan was drawn deeper and deeper into a web of sexual exploitation by promises of love, friendship, gifts and blackmail.”

Sexual exploitation is child abuse. Although they may believe they are in a loving relationship, the damage to the young victim’s physical, emotional and psychological health can be huge. It’s up to us all to spot and speak out against abuse.  

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