Exploitation is about treating people unfairly and taking advantage of them. People can be exploited by individuals or groups and this can involve manipulation, threats and violence (see coercion) and taking advantage of someone’s vulnerabilities. People can be exploited by people they think are their friends and people they are in relationships with.
Exploitation often impacts vulnerable people who may not recognise they are being exploited or may not have the means to stop this. Vulnerabilities can include age (children and older people can be particularly vulnerable), disability, mental health and personal circumstances (eg being isolated) amongst many other things. Exploitation can take many forms, such as modern slavery, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, financial exploitation and county lines. In fact, people can be exploited for all sorts of things.
Exploitation is cruel and unfair and can seriously impact of someone’s quality of life. It can impact on victims in a variety of ways, causing problems with health and wellbeing and personal and family relationships. Victims can become isolated, which often makes it harder for them to find help.