CSE and Sexual Consent Storylines in the Soaps

How soaps can raise awareness of CSE

Soaps are a great way to raise awareness of CSE because they offer a real insight into the issue. Instead of reading about child sexual exploitation in the news, viewers can see how the process of grooming actually happens. As a lot of viewers feel like they already know the characters involved, it’s often easier for them to sympathise and empathise with those affected.

Seeing young people slowly being groomed offers viewers an insight into how CSE can unfold. It shows how older people target teenagers and children, slowly manipulating them and gaining more and more control over their lives.

Coronation Street

Coronations Street is currently in the middle of a hard hitting storyline focused on CSE. One of the soap’s main characters is being targeted by an older man who’s slowly manipulating and controller her. The storyline in Coronation Street shows how a lot of cases of CSE begin, with older people gaining the trust of younger people before they begin exploiting them. The plot has already got lots of people talking and is helping to raise awareness of CSE across the country.


Hollyoaks also recently featured a storyline that touched on issues related to CSE. In the plot, one of the female characters spends a drunken night with a newly arrived male character. However, in the morning, she can’t remember giving consent. As well as running this storyline in the main show, Hollyoaks has aired a few special programmes looking more closely at the issue of consent. They’ve worked with groups of young people to see how watching the programme has affected their views on consent, and if so, how.

Knowing the warning signs

By tackling CSE in a responsible way, soaps can help to teach teenagers, parents and teachers more about the issue. By making people think a little more about CSE and how it can affect anyone, soaps are broadening minds, breaking stereotypes and helping to prevent CSE across the country.

To find out more about CSE or to talk to someone about the issue, contact a member of our team today on 0808 800 1037 or chat to us via our online chat. .