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Sexual exploitation research and lobbying

Barnardo’s is working to reduce the number of children experiencing the horror of sexual exploitation in the UK.

Barnardo's new report: Report of the Parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation for tackling child sexual exploitation and trafficking within the UKChaired by Sarah Champion MP
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse, which can happen to boys and girls from any background or community. It can range from seemingly 'consensual' relationships, informal exchanges of sex in order to get affection, accommodation or gifts, through to exploitation by gangs involved in serious, organised crime.

We are asking the UK Government to:

  • raise awareness to enable early identification of CSE
  • improve statutory responses to CSE and access to services
  • increase the evidence base on the prevalence and forms of CSE
  • improve prosecution procedures with an emphasis on victim support.

Successes so far

  • our Cut Them Free campaign has secured a UK ministerial lead on child sexual exploitation and a commitment from Government to develop a national action plan for England
  • we have had previous success in gaining new protections for under 18s in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which introduces a range of offences relating to the grooming, coercion and control of children.

Our latest sexual exploitation research and resources

Find below a list of our latest sexual exploitation research and resources or search our full publications database.

Published date Publication Price
2016

It's Not On The Radar

by Carron Fox

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) can affect all children, including those with disabilities, regardless of their gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, faith or economic background.
More info
Free
2016

Going the extra mile

by Emilie Smeaton

This report presents evidence-based learning from an evaluation of Barnardo's SECOS (Sexual Exploitation Children's Outreach Service) child sexual exploitation (CSE) service based in Middlesbrough.
More info
Free
2015

Unprotected, Overprotected: meeting the needs of young people with learning disabilities who experience, or are at risk of, sexual exploitation

by Anita Franklin, Phil Raws and Emilie Smeaton

This exploratory research study aimed to increase understanding of how to meet the needs of children and young people with learning disabilities who experience, or are at risk of, child sexual exploitation (CSE).
More info
Free
2015

Welsh language: Unprotected, Overprotected: meeting the needs of young people with learning disabilities who experience, or are at risk of, sexual exploitation

by Anita Franklin, Phil Raws and Emilie Smeaton

Nod yr astudiaeth ymchwil archwiliadol hon oedd gwella dealltwriaeth o sut i ddiwallu anghenion plant a phobl ifanc ag anableddau dysgu sy'n profi CSE (camfanteisio¿n rhywiol ar blant).
More info
Free
2015

Evaluation of Barnardo's Families and Communities Against Child Sexual Exploitation programme

by Barnardo's (funded by DfE) independent evaluation by the University of Bedfordshire's International Centre

The two year FCASE programme has been based in existing Barnardo's specialist CSE services in three locations across England.
More info
Free
2015

Digital Dangers

by Tink Palmer

The impact of technology on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people
More info
Free
2014

Health impact of sexual exploitation on adolescents

by Department of Health and Chanon Consulting

Appendix to Health Working Group Report on Child Sexual Exploitation The independent national Health Working Group on Child Sexual Exploitation has published a report designed to help health services improve the health and wellbeing of children who have experienced sexual exploitation. The report makes recommendations on how NHS, local authority and other health commissioners and practitioners can help protect children, identify and intervene in cases of child sexual exploitation and help children with recovery.
More info
Free
2014

Health impacts of child sexual exploitation

by Department of Health and Chanon Consulting

Appendix to Health Working Group Report on Child Sexual Exploitation. The independent national Health Working Group on Child Sexual Exploitation has published a report designed to help health services improve the health and wellbeing of children who have experienced sexual exploitation. The report makes recommendations on how NHS, local authority and other health commissioners and practitioners can help protect children, identify and intervene in cases of child sexual exploitation and help children with recovery.
More info
Free
2014

Not Just a Girl Thing: A Large-scale Comparison of Male and Female Users of Child Sexual Explitation Services

by Ella Cockbain, Helen Brayley and Matthew Ashby

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is increasingly recognised in the UK and internationally as a child protection and crime prevention priority. Yet, research and responses have focused heavily on girls and young women, leaving fundamental knowledge gaps around the characteristics and needs of boys and young men affected by CSE. The study introduced in this document formed part of a wider collaborative research programme designed to improve understanding of and inform responses to the sexual exploitation of boys and young men in the UK.
More info
Free
2014

Evaluation of Barnardo's Safe Accommodation Project for Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Young People

by Lucie Shuker

The University of Bedfordshire valuated the Barnardo's Safe Accommodation Project, which piloted the use of specialist foster placements for young people at risk, or victims, of sexual exploitation and/or trafficking, for the first time in England, as well as providing training to foster carers and associated professionals, and 1-1 support to young people in other care settings.
More info
Free
2014

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Soping Study into the Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Young Men

Over the last few years, there has been an increasing public and political focus on child sexual exploitation (CSE). Large-scale criminal trials have highlighted the issue and several research projects and reports have contributed to our understanding.1 However, the focus remains on female victims, with little attention given to males affected by sexual exploitation.
More info
Free
2014

Research on the Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Young Men: a UK Scoping Study

Using qualitative and quantitative evidence, this research explores the ways in which boys and young men are being sexually exploited; the differences and similarities between male and female victims of sexual exploitation and what services are currently available for boys and young men.
More info
Free
2013

Running from hate to what you think is love (summary)

by Barnardo's and Paradigm Research

Our new report, produced in collaboration with Paradigm Research and funded by Comic Relief is the culmination of one to one interviews with more than 40 children from a range of backgrounds who have run away and been victims of sexual exploitation before the age of 16. Their experiences starkly demonstrate the variety of reasons why children choose to runaway and how easily they can find themselves at risk and in danger of being sexually exploited. The research also shows that running away can be the result of having been exploited for sex.
More info
Free
2013

Running away from hate to what you think is love

by Barnardo's and Paradigm Research

Our new report, produced in collaboration with Paradigm Research and funded by Comic Relief is the culmination of one to one interviews with more than 40 children from a range of backgrounds who have run away and been victims of sexual exploitation before the age of 16. Their experiences starkly demonstrate the variety of reasons why children choose to runaway and how easily they can find themselves at risk and in danger of being sexually exploited. The research also shows that running away can be the result of having been exploited for sex.
More info
Free
2013

Working with children and young people who experience running away and child sexual exploitation: An evidence-based guide for practitioners

by Emilie Smeaton

The aim of this guide is to provide practitioners working with children and young people with learning from an action research study addressing the relationship between running away and child sexual exploitation (CSE) so that, where appropriate, this learning can be incorporated into direct practice.
More info
Free
2013

Sexual Exploitation: Sex, Secrets and Lies

'Sexual Exploitation - Sex, Secrets & Lies', Your Guide examines the risks young people face and explore ways of keeping safe. The colourful, easy to read booklet is illustrated and has been designed to be used by young people as well as family members and carers who are concerned about the safety of young people.
More info
Free
2012

Tackling child sexual exploitation: Helping local authorities to develop effective responses

by Dr Caroline Paskell, with the Local Government Association

This practice briefing outlines the key components of effective local action on child sexual exploitation. It draws on good practice examples to show how local authorities, police and other core agencies can work together to ensure young people are better protected, and victims of this abuse are better identified and supported.
More info
Free
2012

Cutting them free: How is the UK progressing in protecting its children from sexual exploitation?

by Policy, Research & Media

To mark the anniversary of the Cut them free campaign we've published a new report Cutting them free: How is the UK progressing in protecting its children from sexual exploitation.
More info
Free
2011

Not a world away: The sexual exploitation of children and young people in Northern Ireland

by Dr Helen Beckett

This research report indicates the prevalence and character of child sexual exploitation across Northern Ireland. It shows that this abuse affects both young females and young males. It also highlights how those with existing vulnerabilities experience a disproportionate risk.
More info
Free
2011

Reducing the risk, cutting the cost: An assessment of the potential savings on Barnardo's interventions for young people who have been sexually exploited

by Laura Blazey

This research briefing outlines the potential cost implications of failing to protect children and young people from child sexual exploitation.
More info
Free
2011

Puppet On A String - reveals the urgent need to cut children free from sexual exploitation

This report outlines what is known about the scale and nature of sexual exploitation across the UK and points to some worrying new trends identified by Barnardo's 22 specialist services.
More info
Free
2009

Whose Child Now?

by Lisa Stacey

Barnardo's report "Whose Child Now?" revisits the issue of child sexual exploitation 11 years on from our first report in 1998, 'Whose Daughter Next?'
More info
Free
2007

Tipping the Iceberg

by Julie Harris and Barbara Robinson

A pan Sussex study of young people at risk of sexual exploitation and trafficking, the objective of this 12 month research was to establish the level and nature of current need for services amongst young people at risk of sexual exploitation in Sussex.
More info
Free
2007

It Could be Anyone - Evaluation of London Prevention Education Programme (Child Sexual Exploitation)

by Paula Skidmore and Barbara Robinson

This evaluation reports on an education programme on child sexual exploitation, which used the Barnardo's Bwise2 Sexual Exploitation pack.
More info
Free
2007

Blueprint of experience: Working to prevent and reduce child sexual exploitation in the UK, Netherlands and Estonia

This report outlines lessons learned from European work with children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation.
More info
Free
2007

Forgotten and failed

This report examines what progress has been made in protecting children in London from sexual exploitation since 2005 when Barnardo¿s published their two year research ¿Meeting the needs of sexually exploited young people in London¿.
More info
Free
2006

Protecting self and keeping safe

by Mel Foley

WINNER - Children & Young People's Services "Stay Safe Award" 2006. A pack of materials for social workers, teachers & youth leaders to use in delivering effective education on sexual exploitation.
More info
£45.00
2005

Use of secure accommodation and alternative provisions for sexually exploited young people in Scotland

by Chris Creegan, Sara Scott and Rachel Smith

This report presents findings from research on the use of secure accommodation for young people involved in or at risk of involvement in sexual exploitation in Scotland.
More info
Free
2004

Taking stock: Children and young people at risk of, or involved in, abuse through prostitution in Stockton-on-Tees

by Crawley, Roberts and Shepherd

In this research both adults and children make recommendations about service and practice developments in the area of sexual exploitation.
More info
Free
2004

Daphne programme report - What works in child sexual exploitation: sharing and learning

This report analysed and shared effective strategies for preventing child sexual exploitation and supporting victims in the UK and Netherlands.
More info
Free
2001

No son of mine! Report

by Tink Palmer

Following on from our 'Whose daughter next?' report and film, this report draws attention to the sexual exploitation of boys and young men.
Buy More info
£3.99
1995

Splintered lives: Sexual exploitation of children in the context of children's rights and child protection

by Liz Kelly, Rachel Wingfield, Shelia Burton and Linda Regan

This 1995 report documents legislative, policy and practice responses to sexual exploitation and highlights gaps in knowledge.
More info
Free
 

Reducing the risk - Barnardo's support for sexually exploited young people. A two-year evaluation

by Sara Scott and Paula Skidmore

This report evaluates ten Barnardo's services that support young people involved in or at risk of sexual exploitation.
More info
Free
 

Meeting the needs of sexually exploited young people in London

by Zoe Harper and Sara Scott

Presenting the findings of a two year study into young people at risk of sexual exploitation, this research suggests only around half of those young people at risk are currently being identified or supported.
More info
Free
 

Nae Danger

Made by young people who have been affected by sexual exploitation, Nae Danger looks at issues around risk and keeping safe.
More info
£150.00
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Comparisons of young people affected by sexual exploitation based on gender.
(infographic)