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Girl Sitting

Sexual Exploitation

The National Crime Agency describes sexual exploitation as: 

any non-consensual or abusive sexual acts performed without a victim’s permission. This includes prostitution, escort work and pornography. Women, men and children of both sexes can be victims. Many will have been deceived with promises of a better life and then controlled through violence and abuse. It is also possible to exploit a person who consensually engages in providing sexual services.

Signs of Sexual Exploitation

  • Sleeping on work premises 

  • Movement of individuals between brothels or working in alternate locations 

  • Male clients coming and going regularly from an address

  • Individuals with limited clothing, or a large proportion of their clothing is ‘sexual’ 

  • Only being able to speak sexual words in local language or language of client group 

  • Having tattoos or other marks indicating ‘ownership’ by their exploiters

  • Person subjected to crimes such as abduction, assault or rape

  • Someone other than the potential victim receives the money from clients 

  • Difficulty in walking or sitting

  • Health symptoms, including sexual health issues

  • Bruising to the body and arms


[2] pp6 [accessed 7 April 2018]

[3]Modern Slavery: A Council Guide, pp51 [accessed 7 April 2018]

Case Study

Woman on Window Sill

Joanna grew up in an abusive and unkind family in South America. Yet, she had a dream to make something of her life and move far away from them.  She worked hard so that she could study accounting and have a professional career.  Part way through her studies she became very unwell and had to undergo major treatment. All her savings went to pay her medical bills and when she was recovered she was unable to carry on with her studies having no resources to do so.  She met someone who said they could help her get work to pay the bills quickly. Joanna knew it wasn't what she wanted to do but it was a means to an end.  Little did she know that at that point she would loose her freedom. 


For the next decade Joanna was at the mercy of pimps who moved her from South America to countries in Europe, finally reaching the UK. She was sold for sex and kept under the control of her pimps.  During those years there were two times Joanna attempted to escape. Each time she was captured and severely punished for her boldness.  One day, however, a new opportunity of freedom presented itself and she made a run for it. She ran until she couldn't run anymore. 


Eventually she was picked up by the authorities. She was terrified, but came to realise she was safe. Joanna was referred to the Medaille Trust who provide safe-houses for survivors of trafficking. This was the first time in a decade that Joanna felt truly safe. Joanna was moved into longer supportive accommodation at Ella's, where she has continued her journey of freedom. Through Joanna’s brave testimony, she helped to imprison some of those who had exploited her.


Marble Surface
Man growing canabis

Labour Exploitation 


Spot the Signs

Credit Card

Forced Criminal Exploitation


Spot the Signs 

Girl Gazing

Domestic Exploitation 


Spot the Signs 

Report Modern Slavery

In an emergency call the Police on 999​

To get help or report a suspicion call the

Modern Slavery Helpline:

0800 0121 700 

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