Guidance – Identifying exploitation

In this section

  • Overview
  • Overview

    It’s unlikely that someone will be able to tell you if they are being exploited. They may not even realise that they are involved in an exploitative situation until it has become very serious – grooming and exploitation are often gradual processes where people are slowly introduced to new behaviours and activities that may seem normal and acceptable.

    What people say, their behaviour, or something about their personal life may make you concerned that they are being groomed and exploited

    • you may notice signs of harm, such as an injury
    • they may tell you something which suggests they were involved in an exploitative or harmful situation
    • they may be reluctant to share information, or do so by accident
    • they may avoid sharing information about themselves or their personal life, suggesting that they wish to hide something
    • someone else might share information with you that gives you cause for concern
    • you may have noticed a common sign of exploitation.

    You may suspect that something isn’t right and feel concerned, but it may be difficult to understand what is going on, and it may not be clear whether someone is being exploited. It’s important to always report any concerns you have, and to use curiosity and respectful uncertainty – this refers to placing your experience, judgement and intuition at the core of your work.