What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power within the relationship.The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim, increasing the dependence of the victim as the exploitative relationship develops.
This is not an issue, which affects only girls and young women, boys and young men are also exploited.
However, they often may experience other barriers to disclosure.
Parents and carers are often traumatised and under severe stress.
Siblings can feel alienated and their self-esteem can be affected.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in this context, depends on effective joint working between different agencies and professionals.
Their full involvement is vital if children are to be effectively supported and action is to be taken against perpetrators of sexual exploitation.
Everyone should be alert to the risks of sexual exploitation and be able to take action and work together when an issue is identified.
Any child may be at risk of sexual exploitation, regardless of their family background or other circumstances.
Sexual exploitation results in children suffering harm, and causes significant damage to their physical and mental health.