Signs of exploitation

In this section

  • Overview
  • Overview

    Common signs that may suggest someone is being exploited include the following

    • friendships, relationships or association with controlling individuals or groups
    • isolation from peers and social networks
    • unexplained injuries, ill health, or suspicion of assault
    • changes in emotional wellbeing
    • changes in behaviour and lifestyle
    • going missing
    • secretiveness
    • concerning use of the internet, social media or mobile phones
    • unexplained acquisition, or loss, of money and personal items.

    This is not an exhaustive list, and signs of concern will differ between people and situations

    • grooming and exploitation are usually gradual processes – changes in someone’s appearance, behaviour and personal circumstances are often small, gradual, and may not be noticed immediately
    • sometimes people may appear positive and confident –  they may be unaware that they are being exploited or view their involvement positively, especially if they have been groomed.

    It’s important to question what these signs mean and to consider whether anything else about the person’s behaviour or personal circumstances gives you cause for concern.