The victim of a South Yorkshire grooming gang has spoken out over claims that Rotherham Council has offered her jailed rapist the opportunity to become involved with the child conceived during his abuse of her.
Grooming gang leader, Arshid Hussain, was jailed for 35-years in 2016 after a jury found him guilty of 23 child sex offences committed against nine victims, including Sammy Woodhouse.
Hussain, 43, made Sammy pregnant when she was just 15-years-old, and despite not having any parental responsibility for her son, Rotherham Council have reportedly written to him in prison to give him the opportunity to become involved in the boy’s future.
Sammy has condemned the decision. She said: “This story is about me, the man that raped me, Rotherham Council and the fact that my rapist has been offered to apply for parental rights even though he’s in prison for abusing me for several years, and also for what he did to other children as well.”
Sammy made the statement on social media, responding to a report published in The Times in which she was initially not named in order to protect the child.
“This isn’t just happening to me. This is happening to people all over the country. It’s wrong and it’s got to stop,” said Sammy, as she explained her reason for revealing her identity in an online video.
Sheffield Heeley MP, Louise Haigh, has also criticised the council’s decision.
“Sammy Woodhouse and I are absolutely clear: convicted rapists should have no parental rights. We're campaigning for a change to the Children's Act to stop the courts being used to retraumatise victims and remove the rights of men who've fathered children through rape,” said the Shadow Policing Minister.
The boy is understood to have been involved in care procedings last year, after Rotherham Council sought a care order with Sammy’s support after she struggled to cope with his complex needs.