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Exploitation is not a new concern; children and adults have been exploited in many forms for years. Professionals now have a much better understanding of what exploitation is and how it is a form of abuse. As our understanding of exploitation grows, so too does our ability to identify those most at risk within our communities, those who wish to exploit them and the disruption techniques we can use against this. In a broader sense, exploitation has, over the last few years, been categorised as sexual exploitation or criminal exploitation, predominantly of children.

However, we recognise that exploitation is not an issue that stops impacting victims at the age of 18. As we grow our collective understanding, we can see that adults are also victims of exploitation. A person can begin to be subject to exploitation at any stage of their life and this should be considered for all Walsall residents whom we support.

Violence, coercion, and intimidation are quite common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the victim’s limited availability of choice, as a result of their social, economic, or emotional vulnerability. A victim of exploitation does not often recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation. This can be particularly challenging when trying to understand how a victim is being exploited.

We must not expect victims to protect themselves from exploitative situations.

What is Financial abuse?

Financial abuse is:

“The unauthorised and improper use of funds, property or any resources belonging to another individual.”

It includes:

  • theft, fraud and exploitation,
  • pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, misuse or misappropriation of property, assets, possessions, savings, capital or benefits.
  • SCAMS and other forms of fraud, both online, postal and door stop crimes

Cuckooing is a practice where people take over a person’s home and use the property to facilitate exploitation. It takes the name from cuckoos who take over the nests of other birds. There are different types of cuckooing: Using the property to deal, store or take drugs.

Cuckooing Poster is available to download