County lines and CSE
Young people – particularly girls and young women – are sometimes groomed into sexual activities within county line gangs. Frequently, they do not recognise what they are experiencing as exploitation and believe they are in a relationship with their abuser.
Alongside sexual activity, young women involved in county line gangs are often coerced into carrying and storing drugs and weapons as they are less likely to be stopped by the police.
However, boys and young men are also vulnerable to CSE as sexual violence can be used as a form of control, humiliation and revenge.
How we help
Through our prevention work we raise awareness of CSE, help young people stay safe and promote healthy relationships. Young people can become vulnerable to CSE through low self-esteem, bullying and feeling unloved or unwanted. Our staff help young people at risk to build confidence, aspirations and resilience, ensuring that they feel valued, motivated and have goals to work towards it.
“It started when I was at school. There were other girls who talked to guys who waited outside school, and there was one who was really good looking and I was so amazed that he liked me – I had low self-esteem, I felt fat, I didn’t think anyone would like me. He made me feel really good. He had his own place and a nice car. Girls are sold dreams by these guys – the nice house and car and the nice family unit."
Help for young people
Tips and advice on how you can gradually start to get your life back to normal. However, it is very important to remember that if you or anyone else is facing an immediate threat you should dial 999.
Help for parents and carers
It can be extremely stressful suspecting your child, or a child you are caring for, is involved in child criminal exploitation. There are things you can do to help and St Giles are here to offer support, advice and guidance.
Help for professionals
We offer a range of services to support young people at risk of, or involved in, child criminal exploitation. These are available for a wide range of professionals including schools, hospitals, prisons and local councils.