What is exploitation?

Exploitation involves being groomed, forced or coerced into doing something that you don’t want to do for someone else’s gain.

It is a complex and hidden issue. People who are being exploited can find themselves in situations where they experience abuse and violence, and may be forced to take part in criminal activities.

Exploitation can happen anywhere, including in Devon where increasing numbers of vulnerable children and adults are being identified as victims. It takes place in urban and rural areas and affects people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.

The following pages give an overview of what exploitation is, the forms it can take, and why some people are more vulnerable to being exploited.


  • Exploitation

    What is it and how does it happen?

  • Grooming

    What is it and how does it happen?

  • Vulnerability

    Why are some people more vulnerable to exploitation?

  • Victims and perpetrators

    How can you tell who is a victim and who is a perpetrator of exploitation?

  • Trauma

    Why can it make people more vulnerable to exploitation?