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Rotherham Abuse Scandal - New Interview in Today's Guardian

(82 Posts)
Terfinator Sun 02-Apr-17 21:47:39

(Are we allowed to discuss this?)

One of the victims has waived her anonymity and spoken out about the abuse she faced. Her interview is shocking and brings shame on the support services in the area.

What's even worse is that stuff like this is still going on. Just yesterday, 7 were arrested in Oxford on similar charges (

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 03-Apr-17 00:50:03

I don't really know what to say other than the catastrophic failure of the police and social workers cannot be allowed to be repeated.

AprilSkies44 Mon 03-Apr-17 01:07:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AprilSkies44 Mon 03-Apr-17 01:13:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Terfinator Mon 03-Apr-17 16:05:51

I agree, that's why I linked to the Oxford case too.

In working-class areas, there's huge potential for this kind of abuse. I'm from a poor Northern town where this kind of thing happens often, just not on the same scale as Rotherham

123MothergotafleA Mon 03-Apr-17 16:12:41

I have it on good authority that this " problem" is widespread in this country.
Rotherham is the tip of a ginormous iceberg. Fact.

123MothergotafleA Mon 03-Apr-17 16:15:17

And unfortunately, due to swingeing police cutbacks, this " problem" will never be fully dealt with.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 03-Apr-17 19:27:42

The issue is partly due to the fact that sexually exploited underage girls are considered sluts and considered of low value by nearly all the services that should be helping them. I remember getting a press release from a charity that was describing children as prostitutes when the correct term would be rape victims. I felt quite sick.

Terfinator Mon 03-Apr-17 22:09:42

Yes, and a lot of the victims are groomed to not see themselves as 'victims' sad

Kennington Mon 03-Apr-17 22:14:26

I remember the girls at school who would be targeted by older teenagers and men. They didn't have much and sometimes had families who were unable or didn't care for them. Low self esteem was one reason.
And no one ever said much. But they were not considered victims. Just sluts.
Awful. And this was nothing like on the scale of Rotherham.

ToEarlyForDecorations Mon 03-Apr-17 22:28:10

I read a book purporting to be written by, 'Child A'. I forget which one of the child abuse scandals it relates to.

There's enough detail to let the reader believe it was written from the inside out. However, some details have been changed i.e. locations, names etc

I have a few questions from reading the book which makes me sceptical that it was written by, 'child A'. However, just how these gangs operate i.e. nicknames/codenames, the almost to easy way they groom their victims is shocking.

At the end of the book, they author remarks that these victims don't come from the better off or even average areas of any town. They come from the arse end of towns. Sink estates. Family breakdown.

Kids aged 8 to 15 who will be flattered by the attention of an adult being nice to them, buying them treats like subway or macdonalds or eating curry in the empty-but-for-a-matress stockroom over a take away.

AprilSkies44 Tue 04-Apr-17 08:43:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AprilSkies44 Tue 04-Apr-17 08:43:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Moussemoose Tue 04-Apr-17 08:52:49

AprilSkies44 well done for trying. It really can be soul destroying. These girls are victims but they can be very difficult to work with. As pp have mentioned they do not see themselves as victims and can reject help 'forcibly and volubly'. Many people in support services find the level of abuse directed at them difficult to take and so reject the victims.
Complex and unpleasant situations but inroads are being made.

HoldBackTheRain Tue 04-Apr-17 08:52:58

prawn i agree with you and april many young girls did report to the police and were told to go away or they would be prosecuted for WPT. Some of the girls were prosecuted for drunk & disorderly/criminal damage/public order offences while their rapists went free. There is currently an investigation into about 16 South Yorkshire officers and it would appear that some of them were tipping the rapists off. Maybe some girls didnt realise they were being groomed but many more did and tried to get justice and were ignored.

HoldBackTheRain Tue 04-Apr-17 08:57:15

And april the fact the CPS wouldnt test that underwear shows how little value they placed on catching rhe men that were raping some of the most vulnerable girls in society. Agree its not just Rotherham.

HoldBackTheRain Tue 04-Apr-17 09:02:10

Sorry for my 3rd reply! The answer is not putting vulnerable young girls in secure accommodation - locking them.up is not the answer. The 1st thing is to stop calling this child abuse or child sexual exploitation. Its child rape. The 2nd is for the police and cps to take it seriously and be held accountable when they dont investigate properly.

AprilSkies44 Tue 04-Apr-17 09:09:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Moussemoose Tue 04-Apr-17 09:12:38

Police are judged on 'clear up rates' these case are a nightmare to get prosecutions so the police avoid them. Like when schools are judged on A-C kids on an F are ignored.

League tables don't help.

HoldBackTheRain Tue 04-Apr-17 09:19:06

April i dont disbelieve you. But i have also worked with girls and parents who were desperatly trying to get help and the police were appalling. And please dont go down the road of blanket blaming the girls parents. Gold help you if you have kids that arent teenagers yet. And rotherham, rochdale, oxford etc have proven that the girls in foster homes and care homes knew girls were being raped - their rapists were picking them up in full view - but many of the SW's did nothing while it was the girls parents who were begging for help and got nothing.

HoldBackTheRain Tue 04-Apr-17 09:20:18

Sorry meant to say workers in care homes knew not girls.

Oblomov17 Tue 04-Apr-17 09:20:51

The conviction rates are probably so low, it's practically impossible to prove, which is such a shame.

ithakabythesea Tue 04-Apr-17 09:28:36

Some quotes from the linked article:

"They always saw me as his equal,” she says. “I was never treated as a victim. I was [seen as] part of his gang, his mistress.” A few days after she turned 15, the police raided his house while they were in bed. “He was pulling up his trousers and looked petrified. I think he thought, ‘I’ve had it’,” she says. But it was Woodhouse they arrested – they found a baton-style weapon that he had given her, which she had hidden in her handbag.

It was as if they couldn’t see what was in front of them – or didn’t see anything wrong with it. It was strange, she says, because the police were always looking for a reason to get this well-known criminal. They would often pull him over and check his car, looking for drugs or weapons, but failed to see the underage girl in the passenger seat.

“People say they didn’t know what grooming was back then. But if a police officer didn’t know it’s wrong for a 14- and a 24-year-old to be involved, then they were in the wrong occupation. I think there were a few different reasons. I think because they were Pakistani Muslims, the police were scared to be called racist.” Could it also be simple misogyny? That Woodhouse, and the other girls like her, were just seen by the police as complicit in their abuse? “Yes,” she says. “We were ‘slags’ and ‘little criminals’. To this day, some people look at us like that.”

It is very upsetting reading. Do you remember with Jimmy Saville, people would say 'why didn't the girls say anything at the time?' And it turned out many had said something, but were ignored and shut down.

Itwasthenandstillis Tue 04-Apr-17 12:07:03

I can imagine that such young vulnerable girls become emotionally dependent on their rapers and abusers leading to them not seeing themselves as victims also the abuse becomes normalised and the trauma delayed.
Devastating that they are seen to be sluts sad , it is a terrible reflection on the responsibility our society takes to support vulnerable young people.

Why are the laws so weak where underage sex is concerned? I thought the parents could press charges and prosecution would be certain.

MaryTheCanary Tue 04-Apr-17 13:02:37

Oh God....vague memories of the press referring to "child prostitutes...."

I suppose it's progress of sorts that we no longer use this term.

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