I recently spoke to Sky News as part of an in-depth feature “The Unseen Victims of Abuse”, which focused on the activities of grooming gangs in the UK. Much of the report was filmed near our offices in West Yorkshire but as the report explains, abuse is happening right across the UK.
The feature also included a first-hand account from ‘Sarah’ a victim of a grooming gang here in West Yorkshire. She used a false name during the report and her experiences were explained by the voice of an actor. As Sarah explained in the report, victims often struggle to be taken seriously by authorities, and it feels as though they themselves have done something wrong.
As I went on to explain to the reporters, it is very common for victims of child abuse to have custody of their own children removed, as they are seen as being a danger to their own children. However, the authorities don’t seem to be giving adequate protection to the victims themselves. In fact, as the report explains there is a feeling that victims are seen as criminals
Rotherham abuse survivor Sammy Woodhouse explained that reaching adult age does not make life any easier for abuse victims. They are still dealing with extremely violent gangs of people who won’t tolerate people speaking against them. Although police and authorities claim that eliminating such abuse is a high priority, many victims still feel ignored.
The full report can be seen below. Please be aware that this does contain some graphic accounts of the abuse that victims have experienced at the hands of gangs.
We will continue to fight for the rights of victims and survivors of child abuse and help them secure justice and compensation wherever possible.