1st Edition

Understanding and Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation

Edited By Helen Beckett, Jenny Pearce Copyright 2018
    150 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    150 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The issue of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has received intense scrutiny in recent years, following a number of high profile legal cases, serious case reviews and inquiries. This has resulted in increasing expectations that those working in the field will know how to appropriately manage and respond to this form of abuse. Of course, this is no easy task given the widely acknowledged difficulties of identifying and responding to sexual abuse and the particular complexities associated with the gain dynamic within CSE and the predominantly older age of children affected by it.

    This edited collection draws on the latest research evidence and academic thinking around CSE to consider issues of understanding and response. Written by researchers from ‘The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire, Part I considers issues of understanding and conceptualisation. Part II considers the practical implications of some of this thinking, sharing learning from research and evaluation on prevention, identification and response.

    Understanding and Responding to Child Exploitation presents critical learning for academics and students, and for those working in the fields of policy, practice and commissioning. It is relevant to a wide range of disciplines including social care, youth work, education, criminology, health and social policy.

    Lists of figures and tables

    List of contributors


    List of abbreviations


    Part I: Contemporary perspectives on understanding

    Chapter 1. Words Matter: Reconceptualising the Conceptualisation of Child Sexual Exploitation (Helen Beckett and Joanne Walker)

    Chapter 2. Private/Public Bodies: ‘Normalised Prevention’ of Sexual Violence Against Children (Jenny Pearce)


    Chapter 3. Disclosure of CSE and Other Forms of Child Sexual Abuse: Is an Integrated Evidence Base Required? (Debra Allnock)

    Chapter 4. Applying an Intersectional Lens to Sexual Violence Research and Practice (Elizabeth Ackerley and Lia Latchford)


    Part II: Contemporary perspectives on prevention and response

    Chapter 5. Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence: Involving Young People in Preventative Peer Education (Silvie Bovarnick with Kate D’Arcy)

    Chapter 6. The Role of Detached Youth Work in Preventing and Identifying Sexual Harm (Jenny Lloyd and Danielle Fritz)

    Chapter 7. CSE is Everyone’s Business? The Role of the Night-time Economy (Roma Thomas)

    Chapter 8. Profiling CSE: Building a Contextual Picture of a Local Problem (Carlene Firmin and David Hancock)

    Chapter 9. Developing Participatory Practice and Culture in CSE services (Camille Warrington and Isabelle Brodie)



    Helen Beckett is Director of The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking and a Reader in Child Protection and Children’s Rights at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. She has twenty years' experience of undertaking and managing applied social research across academia and the voluntary and statutory sectors. She holds particular specialism in CSE and related adolescent safeguarding issues, and in ethics around engaging vulnerable individuals in sensitive research. Dr Beckett has published and presented widely on issues of sexual harm against children and regularly consults on research, policy and practice in this field.

    Jenny Pearce (OBE) is Professor of Young People and Public Policy at the University of Bedfordshire, UK, where she was Founder of The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking. She is a Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths College, London, and is the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board for the London tri-borough partnership (London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea). She was Chair of the Academic Advisory Board for The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and continues to advise on reviews and inquiries into child sexual abuse.