For Women and Girls Network (WGN), Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is one of the greatest afflictions within our society.
We bear witness to the testimonies of young women and girls accessing our support services, who have been subject to such an abhorrence of human behaviour. The, courage, strength and resilience within their testimonies is our motivation to keep on doing work that truly makes us enraged with this ugly face of gendered violence. The fact that we are seeing rising numbers of children affected by CSE across the country is both shocking and a call for action to communities and professionals to act upon the recommendations set out in successive guidance and serious case reviews to prevent the traumatic harm of our future generations.

It is also important to note that although this briefing paper focuses on the experience of girls and young women affected by CSE, we acknowledge that boys and young men also experience CSE. However, as explained within the prevalence evidence and patterns of vulnerability section, girls and young women are disproportionately affected. We therefore view CSE as a form of the gendered violence. Women and girls experience greater inequality, hardship and harm than their male counterparts, the heightened risk of violence and abuse facing women is in the context of lifetime inequalities. 

This briefing paper is a synthesis of the established training program that WGN has successfully delivered to over 700 multi-disciplinary professionals since 2015. The training program and this complimentary paper offers insight into the work that is conducted within WGN’s advice and counselling services to young women who have either experienced or are at risk of CSE. Our unique perspective is built within our expertise of understanding and responding to CSE from both a gendered and trauma informed lens. The paper is written as an aid to better professional knowledge and practice in supporting young women and girls affected by CSE. It synthesises the current legislative and good practice policy directives and combines the WGN perspective and model of effectively supporting with young women and girls affected by CSE.


This briefing is created by Women and Girls Network.

It is produced by funding from London Councils for the Ascent Support Services to Organisations project. 

About Ascent

Ascent is a partnership project undertaken by the London Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Consortium, delivering a range of services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, under six themes, funded by London Councils. The second tier support project aims to address the long term sustainability needs of organisations providing services to those affected by sexual and domestic violence. The project seeks to improve the quality of such services across London by providing a range of training and support. 

Women’s Resource Centre is the lead partner in the Support Services Strand where we work together with 5 partner organisations:

Rights of Women


Women and Girls Network

Against Violence and Abuse (AVA)


Find out more about the Ascent project here.

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