Adults, Parents and Carers

Any child, male or female, can be victim of sexual exploitation however, there are some things that make a child more vulnerable to being exploited. We call these the push and pull factors: 


Push factors
Push factors 'push' the young person towards an offender. Some example are: if a child feels isolated, for example they may struggle to make friends or has a dependency on drugs or alcohol, these are push factors.





 Pull factors
The abuser will recognise the 'push' factors and use then to 'pull' the child towards them; for example offering them friendship, or supplying the drugs or alcohol, offering to take them places or giving them somewhere to stay. 



Sexual exploitation can be hard to detect as abusers are very clever in their manipulation.

Young people may not even be aware that they are being exploited; sometimes they believe that they are in a genuine friendship or loving relationship. This means they aren't able to understand that the relationship is unhealthy and controlling.

It's not always easy to know what​ our children are up to or if anything is bothering them, but any combination of these tell-tale signs is a strong indicator that something is wrong:




















 View this short 'spot the signs' video by Barnardo's which explains this in more detail.



I think my child may be a victim...

If you believe that your child may be a victim of sexual exploitation or being groomed to be exploited, here are some pointers on what to do next.

  • It's important to remain calm. 
  • Gather all of their electronic devices and turn them off.
  • Try and get your child to speak to you.
  • It's NOT you child's fault - don't make them feel like it is.


What do I do next?

Report the abuse to the Police by calling 101 (if there is an immediate danger always 999). 

Remember what happens to a child in childhood can remain with them.

Your love, support and understanding is a vital tool in dealing with what's happened.