2.3 – Online Child Sexual Exploitation – Forms

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OCSE has many forms and many of them do not involve physical contact between the offender and the child involved. It happens to both boys and girls and both younger and older children can be affected. It can happen both by strangers online as well as by people who are in a child’s close circle such as peer members or family. 

Following are descriptions of the main forms of OCSE:

Online Grooming

Online grooming is when a person uses online communication to build a relationship with a child and gain their trust, with the intention of exploiting them for sexual purposes. Child sex offenders will use this technique in order to receive sexual material from a child online and/or arrange to meet them to sexually abuse them in person.

Sexually Exploiting Children Through Live Streaming

Sexually Exploiting Children Through Live Streaming is the use of live video applications for streaming children in sexual situations online. It will often involve the offender arranging a time for the child to engage in a sexual act and will sometimes involve the offender paying the child or an accomplice for the live streaming.


Sexting is the act of sending or receiving sexually explicit images of oneself to another. Sexting is sometimes done voluntarily, or after threats, manipulation, and/or coercion of an offender.


Sextortion is the use of a sexual image of a child to blackmail him/her into sending money, or for the sake of further sexual engagement, either directly or through sending more sexual material online. Images which are generated by a child voluntarily during sexting, often serve as the initial materials used for sextortion.

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

Any material such as videos, photographs, sexual texts or even sound recordings which involve children in sexual situations or focusing on children’s genitalia

Distribution of pornography to children

Exposing children to pornographic material is often used by child sex offenders as a means to desensitize children to sex and encourage them to produce sexual material themselves. This will normally be used as part of the offender’s grooming process.

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