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.