In a word – anyone. Girl or boy. Child or teenager. Gay or straight. Someone who’s happy at home or someone who’s experiencing difficulties.

 

Basically, young people of any age, gender, sexual orientation, background or race are at risk of child sexual exploitation.

Equally, offenders can be male or female and of any age, sexual orientation, background or race. This can make them very hard to spot. 

Often, the offender will hold power over the young person – by being older, physically stronger, more popular or having more money. Sometimes they’re a similar age as their victim. They may even go to the same school.

Offenders can act on their own or as part of a group, approaching the young person in person or online. In each instance however, the offender is very clever in how they go about gaining their victim’s trust with the result that any young person can be easily taken in by their lies.