Protect

Barnardo’s works to protect sexually exploited and abused children

Sexual abuse of children is not a rare occurrence. It happens at all social levels, in all parts of the country, in all races and cultures. But despite increased public awareness, the true extent of child sexual abuse remains hidden. Conservative estimates suggest that one in ten children will experience some degree of sexual abuse.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of child abuse. It happens when a young person is encouraged, or forced, to take part in sexual activity in exchange for something. Children are most vulnerable to sexual exploitation between the ages of 13 and 15, but younger victims are being targeted all the time. In one month alone, Barnardo’s services worked with 126 children aged 10–13 who had been affected.

Barnardo’s runs projects and schemes across the country supporting children, young people and families where abuse has happened. These may offer therapy and counselling to help children come to terms with what has happened to them and move forward in life, and offer support to non-abusing parents to help them protect their children in future. Many services also help support children through court proceedings when perpetrators are prosecuted. We also work to increase public awareness of sexual abuse and to help children and young people protect themselves.

Barnardo’s is the largest provider of child sexual exploitation (CSE) support in the UK. We have worked with sexually exploited children and young people for more than 20 years, and have specialist services in over 40 locations.

Help us protect sexually exploited and abused children by supporting us today.

Read more about our work

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