Sammy Woodhouse was abused by a Rotherham sex gang when she was 14 years old. She is campaigning for child sex abuse victims to be pardoned for the crimes they committed while they were groomed.
Sammy told Sky News: “I’m asking for the Government to put something in place stating that children, while being groomed to commit crimes, can’t be charged. I want to be able to speak to someone, have that cleared, because while it’s on our records I feel like we are constantly being blamed for being abused.”
Sammy says her criminal record is preventing her from moving forward in life and had written to the Home Secretary. Sammy proposes that “Sammy’s Law” is introduced by the Government. Sammy is planning to write to all the chief constables and PCCs for support and hopes to secure a meeting with the Home Secretary.
The Home Office issued this statement to Sky News: “Ms Woodhouse was a victim of vile abuse and she has shown tremendous strength and courage in speaking out. We will consider Ms Woodlouse’s situation and respond to her directly in due course.” Sammy has not received a response to her letter as yet.
Sammy’s campaign has however already received the backing of South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Chief Constable. Dr Alan Billings and Stephen Watson said they were “in favour” of her efforts to bring about a change in the law and said “We believe that the concept of ‘Sammy’s Law’ would provide vital reassurance to victims and survivors that the abuse they suffered in the past will not continue to impact their future.”
Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher has also given the proposed law his full support, telling Sky News: “I think policing is about sensible, pragmatic ways of doing things. If this was a member of my family, or this was someone who I knew, I would hope common sense would prevail.”
Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield has also shown her support to the campaign as she thinks “Sammy’s Law” could be beneficial to vulnerable and young victims that are being groomed and abused. The proposed law could help hundreds of victims of child sexual exploitation, by making it easier for them to report their abuse.
Jordans Solicitors have a specialist team of child abuse lawyers serving adults who have experienced sexual abuse during their childhood. We use our skills and litigation experience to achieve justice for those who have been harmed and betrayed by trusted individuals and institutions. If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse call us today and our legal team will work with you to determine how best to proceed with your claim against the person or institution that caused you harm. We can also provide advice on using local authority complaints procedures and assist with Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) applications.