What makes a child more at risk?
- abuse or neglect by parent/carer/family member
- history of local authority care
- family history of domestic abuse
- family history of substance misuse
- family history of mental health difficulties
- breakdown of family relationships
- low self-esteem
However it is important to note that children without pre-existing vulnerabilities can still be sexually exploited.
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.
Many young people who are being abused do not realise they are at risk and will not call for help. They may see themselves as willing participants when in fact their behaviour is anything but consenting.
Offenders come from many different social and ethnic backgrounds but they all have one thing in common. They are abusing young people and are using their status or position to exploit vulnerable victims.