Child Safety and FSM

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) and child trafficking

Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves young people, boys as well as girls, who are coerced into sexual relationships or situations by an adult or adults who have targeted their youth, inexperience and vulnerability.

Rather than an isolated incident, CSE can be thought of as a course of conduct, which often involves “grooming” during which the victim is often given something by the perpetrators in return for performing sexual activities. Victims might be given attention, affection, food, money, alcohol, drugs and gifts, such as clothes and mobile phones. Alternatively children may be sexually exploited remotely using the internet and mobile phones by persuading or coercing them to send or post online sexual images or videos.


CSE may involve the threat of violence (towards the victim or the victim’s family and friends) to ensure the victim’s compliance or to prevent the victim from disclosing the abuse. Actual violence may also be used.


Child Trafficking

Children may be trafficked into the UK to be sexually exploited, but those already resident here who are victims of CSE are also frequently trafficked within the UK by the perpetrators. This activity may be to move children between towns and cities, crossing county borders, or within the same town or city to be exploited.  Children may be trafficked from one end of a street to the other – the distance travelled is not relevant in identifying the process of trafficking.


Parents Against Child Exploitation (Pace) has launched an interactive online information package in partnership with the Virtual College. Although primarily aimed at parents, this package provides a valuable introduction to CSE for professionals.


The NWG Network has produced THINK TWICE an online course on CSE for professionals. Completion of this universal course is a pre-requisite to attend the targeted CSE training delivered in Slough by NWG Network and Just Whistle (see the East Berkshire LSCBs Training Calendar in the Training section).

To register for the NWG Network’s THINK TWICE online CSE course please email with details of your role.

Organisations focusing on CSE

Organisations providing CSE information and resources


Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is any procedure that’s designed to alter or injure a girl’s (or woman’s) genital organs for non-medical reasons. It’s sometimes known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘female genital cutting’. It’s mostly carried out on young girls.

FGM procedures can cause:

  • severe bleeding
  • infections
  • problems with giving birth later in life - including the death of the baby

FGM is illegal in the UK. It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this. The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison.

Professionals should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject.

Information about girls and women at risk of FGM and warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found in Chapter 3 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines are available below. Staff should activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care.


  • Multi-agency practice guidelines



Forced marriage

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.

Forced Marriage is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. It is also a criminal offence to force someone to marry that can result in a prison sentence of up to 7 years.




Every school must have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying. There is no legal definition of bullying, however it’s usually defined as behaviour that is:

  • repeated
  • intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
  • often aimed at certain groups (e.g. because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation)


Bullying takes many forms and can include:

  • physical assault
  • teasing
  • making threats
  • name calling
  • cyberbullying - bullying via mobile phone or online (e.g. email, social networks and instant messenger)

Schools should have their own definitions of bullying.

BeatBullying is an international bullying prevention charity working and campaigning to make bullying unacceptable, on the ground in the UK and across Europe.

BeatBullying is all about young people helping other young people through online mentoring on the BeatBullying website, which is moderated by BeatBullying staff and qualified counsellors. Mentors are young people aged 11-17 who receive intensive face-to-face training and there are also LifeMentors (aged 18+) online who are trained not only to mentor but to support mentors in their roles.

Mentor training is available to schools and youth organisations across the UK and staff briefings are available for schools where mentors are trained

BeatBullying is endorsed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).


  • DfE Advice – Preventing and Tackling Bullying
  • DfE Advice – Supporting children and young people who are bullied