Councillors ‘will do nothing about’ Rotherham abuse, says victim

Mum and daughter protest outside Rotherham Council meeting.
Mum and daughter protest outside Rotherham Council meeting.
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A 17-year-old girl who was a victim of years of abuse says the Rotherham councillors at the centre of the scandal ‘will do nothing about it’.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had been abused by men who groomed her using social media and raped her in Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster.

But when police raided the home of the 23-year-old who had been abusing the girl, police arrested her, she said.

“Foster carers used to drop me off to meet a specific man who was 23 years old when he started doing that to me.

“Police raided where I was staying with him because I was missing to the local authority, but they arrested me and not him.

“It wasn’t clear to them that he’d been abusing me, even though I was stood there naked.

“That wasn’t clear enough to them. He was already on the sex offenders register.”

Rotherham councillors met to discuss the Jay Report which revealed at least 1,400 girls had been victims of child sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013 and deputy leader Paul Lakin claimed he is ‘confident as anyone can be’ that the town is now safe.

The girl was protesting outside the meeting. She said nobody has yet been prosecuted or arrested for what happened to her.

She added: “They sit and talk about it and make out that they’ll do something about it. But nothing will be done about it. If something was going to be done about it, it would have been done ages ago when they first found out it was happening.”

Her mother added: “The police knew about it. Every time we asked for help she either got moved away or got arrested. Sex offenders walked free.

“She’s got to be tortured for the rest of her life because they wanted to cover up a cover-up.

“We are all living in torture.

“Social services condoned it. Police condoned it. They told me there was nothing they could do.”

Rotherham Council ‘accepted in full’ the recommendations in the Jay Report, as well as passing further recommendations relating to police, taxi licensing, scrutiny and asking the Crown Prosecution Service about unconvicted crimes.

Councillors also said more resources would be put into child sexual exploitation. Chief executive Martin Kimber added: “It goes without saying this is the top priority for the council.”

Coun Joyce Thacker said the council will work with schools and academies to spread awareness of CSE and encouraged staff and family to be vigilant for signs that young people are being abused.