Rotherham child sexual exploitation case : 102 years is proportionate.
Are people afraid to report child abuse? What about reporting the rape of young girls in Rotherham? If you ask the average person in the street I hope the answer would be a resounding “YES!” What if the abusers are men who live in Rotherham? Men that groomed, abused, raped, tortured and were involved in sex trafficking girls as young as 11? It’s a no brainer isn’t it?
So why, for when these children reported these crimes, was nothing done? For years the systemic abuse of these young and vulnerable girls went unreported. How could that be allowed to happen Was it because the men were too powerful? Or maybe it was because people were afraid to be called racists? It took 30 years for the victims to speak out. Why so long?
Judge Sarah Wright jailed the gang for a total of 102 years, finally justice.
The long sentences have sent a clear message, which is that the court takes these crimes very seriously. The bravery of the victims was immense. The account of their abuse was harrowing. They probably never thought that this day would ever come. Judge Wright said the impact of the offences had been devastating. The childhoods’ of the victims cannot ever be brought back.
The offences wrecked lives. 25-35 years for each perpetrator was therefore proportionate. The victims can now put closure on the whole episode. Their lives had been taken away and with these sentence they have taken the perpetrators lives. They have got justice. That’s what they came to court for. The sentences show that any potential victim can do also this.
But have we really learnt a lesson? People are so politically correct. People are worried about offending and are scared to come forward. They are scared of being called a racist. It’s not just the police but also social services. There is a culture of fear. Freedom Charity has a 24-7 helpline for victims.
The responsibility of the authorities to protect child victims was not taken seriously. The girls were vulnerable and as a society we failed them. But these convictions show we are starting to put what was wrong, right.
Can it be happening in other places? Maybe. Lessons have been learnt but people have to come forward without fear that creed or colour is being taken into account. People can’t be afraid to report crimes.
Many young people don’t know they are being groomed. The victims didn’t know what was coming. But they had no choice. We at Freedom take all calls seriously and all professionals have to be same. If people report crimes they have to be believed.
I hope this is a turning point. But who knows if there will be another Rotherham? Hopefully these convictions will encourage more young people to report.