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Child sexual exploitation is a major child protection issue for communities across the UK. Hidden from view and going unnoticed, vulnerable young girls and boys are groomed and then abused, leaving them traumatised and scarred for life.

Child sexual exploitation is illegal activity by people who have power over young people and use it to sexually abuse them. This can involve a broad range of exploitative activity, from seemingly ‘consensual’ relationships and informal exchanges of sex for attention, accommodation, gifts or cigarettes, through to very serious organised crime.


Barnardo's have published a guidance on staying safe - Be Aware, Stay Alert and Keep Safe


The NSPCC has produced three short animations, available on YouTube, which each deal with the subject of child sexual exploitation in a different way. The animations attempt to clarify the complex issues involved and offer starting points for discussion with young people who might be experiencing similar problems.

Click below to see some animations created by the NSPCC and Childline to raise awareness of sexual exploitation

Chelsea's Choice

A powerful production highlighting the issue of child sexual exploitation

We have commissioned 2 weeks this year of 'Chelsea's Choice' and 'Crashing' to deliver performances to Upper Schools across Bedford Borough. 'The performances inform young people about grooming and helps individuals to spot the signs of sexual exploitation.

Chelsea's Choice is an educational play which highlights the very serious and emotional issue of child sexual exploitation. The production shows how young people, boys and girls, are groomed by adults for the purposes of sexual exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives. It tells the harrowing true story of a young girl ‘Chelsea’ from Northamptonshire who was groomed and held captive, in a flat, for the sexual gratification of her captors.

Crashing highlights how child sexual exploitation can affect boys and young men. It tells the story of Eddie. At 15 years old he lost his mother to cancer, lost his father to depression and found himself out on the street. Whilst sleeping in a shop doorway Eddie was approached by Michael. Michael was kind, good fun and owned a shop with an empty flat above it. He offered Eddie the chance to stay there until he got back on his feet, but unfortunately Michael had another agenda.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact us at or telephone 01234 276512

Local contacts

If you or one of your friends are a victim of or could be being sexually exploited contact Bedfordshire Police who have a dedicated child sexual exploitation team. So if you want to talk to a Police officer then please contact them either by email or telephone 01234846914 or Bedfordshire Police on 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Brook provides free and confidential sexual health services and advice for young people under 25 across Bedfordshire. Broadway House, 4-6 the Broadway, Bedford, MK40 2TE


Telephone: 01234 761090

SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)

The Emerald centre SARC is a professional, confidential, and responsive service which provides forensic and holistic care to men, women and children who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

We accept all referrals and we can refer on to other disciplines for ongoing support.


Telephone: 01234 897052

If you are in danger please dial 999

Bedford Borough Council – Children’s Social Care

If you are worried about yourself or a friend you can call the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01234 718700 (office hours) or ring 0300 300 8123 (out of hours).

In an emergency, phone the police 999.

We are a Partnership made up of over 20 member organisations working to support and provide services to victims in Bedfordshire’. Please visit our website for further detail

A confidential and free telephone helpline for women and men over the age of 10 years who have been raped and / or sexually abused at any time in their lives. We offer telephone support for survivors, information on other services and 1-1 counselling with qualified, specially trained counsellors in safe, accessible places across Bedfordshire. 

Helpline 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday 

  • Confidential
  • Caring
  • Non-judgemental
  • Self-referral
  • No need to be referred by your GP or anyone else
  • Support for non offending partners, family members

Tel: 0300 365 1045

Useful contacts on Child Sexual Exploitation

Getting some help

The most important thing to remember if this is happening is to tell someone. This could be anyone from your parents or a teacher or  just someone that you trust. You can contact the police or speak to your social worker if you have one. If you want to get more information about what sexual exploitation is, there is lots of things online for you to look at.


Barnardo's have made a leaflet  with advice about spotting the signs of sexual exploitation and how to keep you and your friends safe. Visit their website to download the leaflet and get more information. 


Childline is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK. You can contact Childline by phone, email, text or via a message board.


Expert advice from NSPCC advisors, who are all trained child protection officers.
0808 8005000

If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

Don't be afraid - Say Something: Helpline for young people

faceup2it an interactive website for children and young people who want to know the real deal about child sexual exploitation, it includes advice and young people's stories of CSE.

Don't be afraid - Say Something: Helpline for young people

The Say Something campaign launched over the summer has been developed with young people and aims to safeguard vulnerable children and young people by empowering them through awareness and education to identify early indicators of child sexual exploitation. Say Something will also offer a free, 24-hour, anonymous phone and SMS helpline, 116 000, to disclose information and seek support.

The message is:

It is NOT OK for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to do sexually.

Listen to your instinct; if it doesn’t feel right say tell someone


24/7, FREE ANONYMOUS, CALL or TEXT 116 000


Information about sexual exploitation

Watch a video on recognising the signs of sexual exploitation

Watch a music video made to accompany the dangerous loverboy film here. The song lyrics and film tell the story of a girl who meets an older boy. He buys her gifts, alcohol and takes her to parties. He drugs her and she becomes entrapped her in sex trafficking and exploitation.

Watch a short film about a young adolescent girl, Milly. She is groomed by an older man into having sex with men for money. Milly lives with her mother and her mother's violent partner. She meets Steve who woos her and separates her from her friends. Milly moves in with Steve and starts having sex with men. She runs away after hearing Steve arranging to take her to Leeds.