It occurs when anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for gifts, money, drugs, alcohol, reward, affection or status.
Abusers manipulate their victims into taking part in sexual activity in different ways – grooming their victims with attention or gifts, or by using coercive, controlling behaviour, and sometimes force.
Children and young people who are being groomed for sexual exploitation often don’t realise they are victims. But there are signs you can look out for that may indicate that a child is being groomed or abused.
As you travel around Greater Manchester, look around you. Spot the signs and report any concerns.
Spot the signs
If you travel in or around Greater Manchester, or you work in the service industries, your eyes and ears could prevent serious harm from coming to a child.
Abusers who groom children online will try to get their victims to travel and meet them, often on public transport. Look out for a child meeting up with an older “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” next time you’re at a tram stop, train station or bus stop.
Keep your ears and eyes open. Is someone behaving inappropriately towards a child or talking to them in a way that is inappropriate or sexual?
If you work or travel through a place where lots of children meet up, look out for older “friends” trying to groom or exploit them. Has someone tried to entice a young person back to a hotel or house party? Or offered to get them drink and drugs?
Look around for children out with someone older who does not appear to be a family member or carer. Are they:
- Being taken by taxi to different locations and meeting with people older than them
- Being taken to hotels by people older than them
- Out shopping with someone older and being bought clothes or gifts
- Being bought food, cigarettes and alcoholic drinks
- Being escorted into over-18 venues, despite being underage
- Being taken out on trips, outings or holidays by someone older than them
- Staying in a hotel room visited by different adults
- Out late past 10pm
- Wearing a school uniform or of school age but are not in school during the day
- Drunk or intoxicated and in the company of someone older than them
- Travelling with or meeting a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ much older than they are
- Taking part in sexual activity even though appear to be under 16
If something doesn’t feel right, it might not be.
If you are concerned about a child or young person, report it to 101.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
- Get help and report it to your local child sexual exploitation team
Find out more
- Child sexual exploitation – what is it?
- Spot the signs – advice for young people
- Information for businesses and people who work in the service sector
- Child trafficking and sexual exploitation
- Get help and report it
- What is grooming – NSPCC website