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Jay Report Reveals the Sexual Abuse of 14,000 Children in Rotherham

28th Aug 2014 | in

The Alex Jay report into the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal has revealed a catalogue of failures from 1997 and 2013.

1,400 children from the ages of eleven to sixteen were sexually abused and exploited by gangs of Asian men over a period of sixteen years.

In 2008, Rotherham received the Local Government Chronicle award for its management of children’s services, while all these active failures to protect children were running in the background.

Dr Sonia Sharpe the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services was allegeded enjoying the spotlight of her success while we now know, children were suffering in silence.

During that same year 2008, Razwan Razaq, Rotherham, was having sex with two under-age 13 year old girls.  Razaq later went on to be jailed as one of the Rotherham 5 in 2010 for sexually abusing 3 teenage girls.

You can read the exclusive guest post by a Sheffield Juror who sat on a Rotherham case that saw five men convicted. In the court room all was not well as more failures unfold. Case here

How the judiciary system treats cases of child sexual abuse is clearly shown as the Juror highlights inadequate police handling, to the evidence supplied. The audio recordings were of such poor quality, the case had to be adjourned several times while transcripts were sought and supplied to the jury. The victims were present as problems arose in the court room adding more distress to an already traumatic experience.

This abuse was happening right under the neglectful eye of the same award-winning council Rotherham, who knew 17-year-old Laura Wilson was at risk from the predatory gangs, six years prior to her murder in 2010.

Rotherham social services received information about adults suspected of targeting Laura from as young as eleven years old. They did not act on it.

Laura Wilson was brutely stabbed and murdered by Ashtiaq Ashgar who is now serving a life sentence. The murder of Laura left behind her child, a little girl, Alicia who will grow up without her mother. Another life that will inevitably be affected by those failures. The family who have lost their daughter Laura, are also affected.

The police during this, were no strangers to the risks faced by young girls who feared for their families safety, but also for their own lives and safety. The police failed to protect the children over the years, as a familiar pattern emerges. One that became a major focus as calls echo across the country demanding the resignation of the now police commissioner, Shaun Wright.

Wright, the Labour cabinet member for children and young people’s services at Rotherham council from 2005 to 2010, is facing further allegations that suggest he was aware of the problems and failed to act on reports he was given during his time in council. Wright went from a position of failures to a position within the police where he would further the injustices for each of those 1,400 victims.

This is 2014 where lessons should have been learned years ago.

The police were busy labelling the girls who they believed were making their own lifestyle choice.

Why is this still a deep rooted problem within the system today?

The attitudes from professionals who are meant to protect children, often leave us in total disbelief.  Are there not enough abuse cases for politicians, police and system workers to learn from?

When do children stop being children to the police, politicians and the system?

Criminalizing the girls was also another stance the police took which served no purpose and caused further problems. Is there a lack of police training? Have they become immune to the devastating affects of crimes committed on children? Where does this appauling attitude towards victims of child abuse stem from and why in 2014, is it still systematic for professionals to judge children in such a harsh or malicious way? Why are local authorities still failing children?

I want to remember the victims, survivors and their families because they are the ones who are ultimately being affected by this being in the public domain, on top of an already traumatic experience.

How do they feel? We can’t even begin to imagine. Its not just the physical abuse, it’s the mental abuse. Its not just the failures they are affected by, it’s also the position victims/children were put in when once again, the police fail to believe or listen. That is a serious breach of trust.

Behind each of those stories in the media is a real person.

This is their life in the public domain and behind the scenes there are families and lives that have changed. Its not just a temporary change but a more permanent one, as many of them struggle to come to terms with whats happened. Their trust truly broken as children as they start the long journey of adult life with that hanging over them.

It is important everyone helps them move forward not only to heal but to offer support needed in seeking justice.

If any Rotherham survivors and families need further support, advice and assistance, they can contact me on in confidence.


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