Centre of Sexual Health - Young People

What is CSE?

You may have heard the term child sexual exploitation or cse in school, on tv or maybe even friends talking about it but what does it mean?

There is no simple, easy way to define it that describes everything that it could be. Sexual Exploitation happens in different ways but it can happen to ANY young person regardless of background, age, gender, race or sexuality. It also happens both in the real world and online.

A group of young people affected by CSE came up with the following words to describe what they thought it was. For them it wasn’t just one word but a whole load of words that described both what happened to them and how they felt during and after.


Another group of young people who were part of a project called Real Love Rocks created a video with their definition of ‘What CSE is?'


You can view the video here.

CSE or Grooming can be very difficult to identify as the people who groom and exploit young people can be very clever, secretive and often form emotional connections with you so you feel that you are in a real relationship however often your gut tells you when something isn’t right – listen to it!
If you feel scared, controlled, pressurised or forced to have sex, worried about a relationship, isolated by a partner then TELL someone like a friend, parent or teacher.


If you don’t feel you can tell someone you can anonymously call or text 116 000 at any time of day or night. Always remember if you feel in immediate danger call 999 for the police.
It is NOT OK for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to, AND IT’S NEVER YOUR FAULT.
Here is some advice from a girl who was a victim of CSE for 4 years:
If you believe you may be experiencing CSE, it is very important to talk to someone who you trust, for example:
- a family member
- a member of staff at school
- or another professional you may come into contact with like a nurse.
It will feel scary talking to someone about what is going on but there are people out there who want to help you.
Everyone has the human right to feel safe and have a good quality of life. There are a lot of charities out there who you can speak to if you are concerned about CSE. The charities can provide you with a lot of information, support and advice for any concerns you may have regarding CSE. Early intervention is key!
You can read her story on the Brook website here.


There are some really great websites to visit:

Why not try Faceup2it's Loves Me…Loves Me Not quiz to find out how healthy your relationship is?


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