Skip to content

Sexual exploitation

Adult Sexual Exploitation (ASE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves someone taking advantage of an adult, sexually, for their own benefit through threats, bribes, and violence. Adults can be exploited in many ways and anybody can be a victim of sexual exploitation, including men.

Predatory marriage

The Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership wants to raise awareness of predatory marriage which is an emerging form of exploitation.


Cuckooing is a practice where people take over a person’s home and use the property to facilitate exploitation. It takes its name from cuckoos who take over the nests of other birds.

Modern slavery and human trafficking

Modern slavery is the act of exercising control or ownership over another person and using this power to exploit them. It can take many forms including human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, debt bondage and domestic servitude.


Radicalisation is the process through which people come to support increasingly extreme political, religious or other ideals. This can lead them to support violent extremism and terrorism. It may be particularly appealing to someone who is experiencing difficulties and challenges in their life.

County lines

County lines is when criminals from larger cities expand their drug networks to other areas of the country - usually rural and suburban areas. Vulnerable adults are often exploited to move and store drugs and money and regularly use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.


Scamming is when someone misleads or deceives you through unsolicited or uninvited contact in order to obtain money. This could be by letter, email, phone or through advertising. Victims may also be targeted at home, also known as 'doorstep scamming'.


Blackmail is a form of exploitation. It is an act of coercion, often criminal, using the threat of revealing or publicising either substantially true or false, and often damaging, information about a person, to the public, family members, or associates unless certain demands are met.


Fraud is when someone tricks or deceives you to gain a dishonest advantage – usually money, goods, services or property. Anyone is susceptible to fraud, and every day criminals invent new ways of taking money from innocent people.

Mate crime

Mate crime is when a person is harmed or taken advantage of by someone they thought was their friend. This can include a friend asking for money and refusing to give it back or emotional or physical abuse by a person who was thought to be a friend.

Report your concern

If an adult is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are reporting concerns because you suspect that a vulnerable adult is being abused, or you are being abused yourself, please visit our Report your concern page.