ERASE stands for: Educate and Raise Awareness of Sexual Exploitation.


ERASE involves a number of agencies in County Durham and Darlington working together to:

  • Promote safety
  • Increase awareness
  • End abuse 

What is sexual exploitation?


Sexual exploitation is when someone makes or manipulates a young person into doing sexual things for the benefit or enjoyment of others. It's a form of sexual abuse and it is against the law.


For example, someone may try and get you to do sexual things by:


It's not always easy to tell when a young person is being sexually exploited.


There are lots of different types of child sexual exploitation, which is why it can be hard to tell if it is happening by the young person, or for parent​ and carers to spot that something is wrong. These are just some examples:

  • An abuser may pretend to be a friend and earn their trust before trying to get them to have sex. This is called grooming.
  • A group of young people may gang up on a young person to get them to carry out sex acts. This may be in return for friendship or so the young person can join the gang.
  • An abuser may try and become a young person's friend online - perhaps pretending to be someone their age - getting them to carry out sex acts using a web cam. 
  • A new boyfriend or girlfriend might start to expect the young person to have sex with them in return of gifts or favours, or try to get the young person to have sex with their friends,
  • Abusers may try and lure the young person to parties with promises of free alcohol and drugs, but then expect them to have sex with people while they are there.