In a guide for Community Care Inform Children, Emilie Smeaton, research director of Paradigm Research, covers the different ways that experiencing sexual exploitation can affect children. This excerpt from Smeaton’s guide covers three impacts CSE can have.
Children who experience CSE often exhibit risky behaviours such as offending, running away, substance misuse and general anti-social behaviour. They may bully and exhibit controlling behaviour towards others and situations. Children may also exhibit violent behaviour towards others including adults who care for them. These behaviours may result from children and young people ‘acting out’ the abuse they experience but may also be encouraged or forced by perpetrators of CSE.
Children’s violent behaviour may also be as a result of fear from threats made by perpetrators of CSE.
Truancy and exclusion from school are commonly experienced by children who experience CSE. Exclusion is often experienced as a consequence of adopted behaviours as a result of experiencing CSE. If still attending school, a child who is experiencing CSE may cease to engage with school and/or exhibit disruptive behaviour.