UK & World News

  • 26 August 2014, 18:22

Rotherham Girl Abused By 'Hundreds' Of Men

A victim of the Rotherham child abuse scandal has told Sky News she was sexually exploited by "hundreds" of men and authorities did nothing to stop them.

The woman, now in her 20s, said she was abused every day between the ages of 12 and 15, and was sometimes raped by five men at a time.

In a harrowing interview, she said her attackers are still wandering the streets of Rotherham and have ruined the lives of countless young women.

She reported her abuse to police in April 2003, when she was 13, and again the following year, but the rapes continued, she said.

Her attackers would wait outside her home and threaten her family, and the abuse only stopped when her relatives moved her out of the UK when she was 15.

"Social care, safe-guarding, the council, the police, education, none of them did anything to try to stop this at all," she said.

"Rotherham Council have failed. You couldn't argue with the fact that there are lots of young women wandering about whose lives have been ruined ... I blame them (the authorities) as much as my perpetrators."

She returned to the UK when she was 17 and still sees her attackers walking the streets.

"It doesn't bother me that they're walking round the streets because of what they'd done to me," she said.

"It bothers me that in the last 10 years that I exited sexual exploitation, how many other people's lives have been ruined?

"How many families have they ripped apart?  How many more people have they raped? Their world and their lives will never be the same again - and that is what's frightening."

She said her attackers were not only from Rotherham - "they'd start bringing their cousins from Bradford and Birmingham" and "all over the UK".

Her grooming started when she was 12 and began going to McDonald's restaurants and amusement arcades in Rotherham city centre on Saturday afternoons.

She and her friends met a group of schoolboys who later introduced her to older men.

"They started giving me soft drugs, alcohol, buying me cigarettes, taking me to McDonald's - just normal things ... I started to build a friendship with them," she said.

"I was very innocent. I don't come from a bad background. I come from a very loving, good background.

"I've got a supportive family ... and I thought these people were giving me things for free and I later found that they wasn't."

She added: "One of them singled me out, I made a friendship with him and I was completely innocent ... one night he took me up to the outdoor market stalls and the next thing I knew he was actually on top of me and was raping me.

"I was being pinned down by two other men. One of my friends they was making watch. She was already involved in sexual exploitation."

She added: "It disturbed me so much because I'd lost my virginity.

"He would rape me once a week every week and that's when he started to gain control over me and when I started to fear him, and not just him but everyone else within that gang.

"I'd have to have sex with his cousins or whoever wanted to have sex with me. And I very much become like an object and that's how they treated me."

She said she was beaten if she refused to have sex.

They also knew where she lived and threatened to knock on her door and tell her parents she owed them money for drugs.

The gang also threatened to "get my mum and gang-rape her and make me watch, which I wasn't going to let happen. So I kept things to myself and I also continued to go (and meet them) because of these threats."

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