Friday, 28 September 2012

They were waiting outside the school gates at 3 o'clock: Victim of Rochdale gang talks of ordeal

It all began just a few feet from the school gates.

The men persuaded her to get into their car before plying her with alcohol and taking her to various houses for sex with other men.
The victim of the Rochdale sex gang, who was 15 at the time, was known t social services and police but was not helped (picture posed by model) 
It was a routine repeated on a daily basis.

For the girl, who was only 15 at the time, there seemed no way out.

And as the weeks and months passed she realised she was alone and utterly helpless.

Like the other victims of the Rochdale child sex gang, she was well known to social services and the police. But they were unwilling to help her.

‘These men would be picking me up from school – as soon as I walked out of the gates at three o’clock – and take me to houses,’ she said.

‘I was getting phone calls in school asking me to walk out of school.

‘I was coming into school with flea bites all over my body, dirty clothes, smelling of alcohol, smelling of being unclean. I was very quiet.
‘Quite a few people rang social services, school, the police, the  sexual health team. Even my own Dad rang social services to get help.’ 

At one point she was arrested for smashing the counter of the takeaway where the gang operated, and decided to report the abuse.

‘I was at the police station and I thought, “It’s now or never, I’m already here”,’ added the victim, who is now 19.

‘I thought if I say something now, it will be over and they will do something. It will get stopped and I won’t have to see anybody again.

‘Social services told my Mum and Dad that I was a prostitute and it was a lifestyle choice and that because I was only six months off turning 16, they weren’t going to do anything.
‘Then when I found out I was pregnant, social services threatened to remove my child at birth, but they never did anything to help me.


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