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Sexual exploitation happens when someone takes advantage of you, sexually. This might be for their own sexual enjoyment or to make money out of you, by selling your photos, videos or your body to others.

People can force or persuade you to do things by using threats, violence, blackmail, bribes or by making you believe they love and care for you.

These things can include kissing, touching, rape, taking sexual photos or videos or making you do sexual acts with them or with other people.

You can be sexuall exploited online without even meeting the person who is exploiting you. This might be through photos or webcams.

The abusers can be very cleaver and manipulate you and you might not realise you are being sexually exploited. When you do realise, things might have gone so far that you feel like you can't refuse... BUT YOU CAN!

You can be manipulated or forced into sexual behaviour through different kinds of abuse:


Hitting, thumping, tying you down, threats of violence, kciking, biting, choking, forcing you to take drugs or alcohol.


Bullying threats, keeping you away from others, stalking you online, emotional blackmail, humiliating you, threatening your family or friends.


Rape, unwanted touching or kissing, forcing you to have explicit photos or videos taken, maipulating you to post sexual photos online, forcing you to do sexual acts over webcam.


Giving you money to do things, witholding money, threatening to make you homeless.


12828237-why-handwritten-with-white-chalk-on-a-blackboardWHAT IS GROOMING?

Grooming is the process that lures you into sexual behaviour. Abusers may groom you by offering you something you really want or need, such as money, alcohol, drugs or a career. Sometimes they do this by making you think they really love and care about you or making you feel special.



Sexual exploitation CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE, but children and young people are especially at risk. Boys as well as girls are sexually exploited and abusers can be male or female, the same age or older, someone you know or a complete stranger.



It can be really difficult and scary to admit what is happening to you, especially if the abuser is blackmailing you or has a hold over you becasue of something you have done. BUT however hard it feels, it is better to come clean and find help because it is likely to spiral out of control and you can be seriously abused and hurt. In the end it is usually worse to keep it to yourself and try to cope alone.


  • It is NOT your fault
  • You are NOT to blame
  • You have the right to feel SAFE

A trusted adult (like a teacher, school nurse, social worker or youth worker) should be able to provide you with info to help you and your family find the support you need. The police might need to get involved and you shouldn't be firghtened about this, as they will try to help you and keep you safe.

Visit our Resources Page for useful numbers and links on help and support.

If you are in immediate danger, call 999.