The three-month long Rotherham child abuse trial and resulting developments have shocked the nation.
Continued and systematic abuse in Rotherham, of girls sometimes under the care of the Council and allegations of corrupt police officers and a broken system have, quite expectedly, left us appalled.
Four men and three women were found guilty on Wednesday of 55 grave offences including indecent assaults, rape and forced prostitution and will be sentenced on Friday. The victims were vulnerable young girls, some in the care of the system, some already having been victims of abuse, one as young as 11 years old. The perpetrators of these crimes were known criminals, known to the police, known to the public as ‘gangsters’ and thought by one victim as ‘owning’ Rotherham.
It is distressing to see just how easily these men and women were able to take vulnerable young girls, sometimes from their foster homes, and force them into lives of repeated sexual and physical abuse, with no one to turn to.
Following the trial, a catalogue of errors have emerged; men being found in the bedroom of their victim in a children’s home, foster homes allowing abusers to take victims out, police ignoring reports and even telling victims that they are to blame, cover-ups as to the extent of the problem, and all the while, the lives of vulnerable young girls have been stained as a result of the inability of the system to protect them.
Jordans Solicitors have over 20 years of experience helping victims of abuse obtain compensation for the damage that has been done to their lives. We have achieved compensation for victims where large scale police investigations, like the investigation resulting in the Rotherham trial, have resulted in convictions of historic child abuse. Our specialist child abuse lawyers deal with clients sensitively and can help childhood abuse survivors plan for their futures and rebuild their lives after traumatic events of the past.
What is clear from the Rotherham trial is that now that the perpetrators have been brought to justice, so too must the facilitators. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) are conducting major investigations into the actions of South Yorkshire Police, and just how these people were allowed to continue their crimes for almost 20 years. The IPCC is investigating the manner of over 50 officers in their handling of the victims and their complaints of this deplorable abuse, but more work is needed.
All bodies involved in the safeguarding and protection of these vulnerable young women must be investigated in order to ensure that such crimes are never repeated; this includes social services and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
If you have been affected by this abuse, the specialist team of child abuse lawyers at Jordans Solicitors can help you ensure that the relevant parties are held accountable for their part in this abuse.
Call Jordans Solicitors on freephone number 0800 9555 094 to speak to our expert team for free, confidential and impartial advice on your options.