Some people form relationships (online or offline) with young people because they want to use them for sex or to do sexual things with them. For example, a young person may be persuaded or forced into sharing nude images online or take part in sexual activities.
People who do this want to gain trust to get power over young people. They may do and say things to make the young person think they are a friend, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. They may offer money or gifts to pressure them to do things. They might also use threats and or try to make the young person feel bad about themselves, or ashamed about something that isn’t their fault.
In some cases, they might try to blackmail the young person by saying they will share nude pictures, videos or something else embarrassing with their friends and family if they don’t do what they say.
This is child sexual exploitation (CSE) and is a crime.
If a young person is worried that they (or another under-18 year old) are being sexually exploited, they can get help by reporting online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP).
If you are 18 or over and have a concern about child sexual exploitation you should report this to the police.
If you or a young person is at immediate risk of harm please dial 999.
Find out how to report CSE to commonly used social networking sites below: