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Exploitation; a guide from our sexual offence solicitor
11 Feb 2022

There have been many instances in the news of vulnerable adults being mistreated; whether they are elderly or have learning disabilities and mental health issues.

Unfortunately, there have also been many cases reported of sexual exploitation and grooming of vulnerable adults. If you are someone who works with such adults and you are accused of such an offence, it can have devastating consequences.

At ABV Solicitors, our sexual offence solicitor will always aim to defend you and ensure that your side of the story is heard. We work hard to provide our clients with the legal protection they deserve against such devastating accusations and will always aim to clear their names.

But, if you have been accused of sexual exploitation or grooming a vulnerable adult, what exactly does that mean, and what are the consequences if you are found guilty? Our sexual offence solicitor provides the following brief guide.

Who are vulnerable adults?

Firstly, it is important to define which adults would be deemed vulnerable in society.

The definition is wide, but generally, it includes anyone over the age of 18 years who may be unable to defend themselves against exploitation or abuse. This includes but is not limited to an elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease or someone who has a severe cognitive impairment such as cerebral palsy, a learning disability such as autism or a complex mental health issue such as schizophrenia. Abuse in these instances may occur in the person’s home, a hospital, an assisted living facility or a day centre to name a few.

What is meant by sexual exploitation?

According to our sexual offence solicitor, sexual exploitation is when there is an imbalance of power in the relationship; in the instance where vulnerable adults are involved, this usually revolves around the carer and the person being cared for. In such instances, sexual exploitation occurs when the abuser uses coercion, violence, intimidation or enticement to abuse the vulnerable adult into performing sexual activities that they do not wish to engage in or cannot give consent for.

Grooming also falls into this category, but is even broader and can occur online via social media or email.

What to do if you are accused

Being accused of sexual exploitation or grooming of a vulnerable adult is a serious offence, and the first thing you need to do is contact our team for advice.

If you have been arrested, you should call us at ABV Solicitors as we are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We will visit you at the police station to assist in interviews and liaise on your behalf.

Do not under any circumstances attempt to contact the person who accused you.


The laws surrounding sexual exploitation and grooming are severe under UK law, and if you are found guilty, you may face anything from 15 to 30 years in prison. Therefore, as soon as you are accused or arrested, you need to contact our team so that we can begin building your defence.

Rape; considerations from our sexual offence solicitor

Grooming; a guide from our sexual offence solicitor