Scandal in Rotherham, abstract of the ECPAT UK blog
The latest scandal of another UK town’s failure to respond adequately to widespread sexual exploitation of its children highlights an endemic issue across the United Kingdom. In communities throughout our country, including Oxford, Rochdale and Newcastle, we have been confronted with overwhelming evidence of repeated and multiple failures to prevent child abuse and protect children.
The Rotherham authorities, whose job it is to protect and safeguard those most vulnerable, failed to react to exploited children as victims of serious abuse. Despite all of the shocking revelations of the past few years, statutory agencies continue to disregard the horrific and coercive conditions of abuse – often seeing these children as perpetrators themselves or ‘troublemakers’. Some have even gone so far as to hold the children themselves accountable for what has happened. This culture of disbelief has to end before thousands of more lives are damaged and ruined.
Child victims of trafficking and exploitation are often unable to recognise that they are victims, blaming themselves for the abuse they suffer. They have been groomed to think that their worth is valued by sex and degradation. Such attitudes are only compounded by authorities’ failure to act and inability to provide protection.
More information : ECPAT UK website
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