This is the joint website of  Women Against Rape and Black Women's Rape Action Project. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. We campaign for justice and protection for all women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence.

WAR was founded in 1976. It has won changes in the law, such as making rape in marriage a crime, set legal precedents and achieved compensation for many women. BWRAP was founded in 1991. It focuses on getting justice for women of colour, bringing out the particular discrimination they face. It has prevented the deportation of many rape survivors. Both organisations are multiracial.

 

 

 

Statement from a child abuse survivor

WHEN WILL CHILD ABUSE SURVIVOURS/VICTIMS OBTAIN JUSTICE – JUSTICE CONTINUES TO BE DENIED?

I am writing this as a 60 year old woman who was a 12 year old victim of sexual abuse. I never got justice. I want to expose the lack of professionalism of the police and social services. I believe it is a problem throughout the width and breath of the British Isles which proactively denies us child abuse survivors/victims a voice or justice.

We are victims of crime but investigations were refused many of us and there was a refusal to apply law and policy - despite it being available under the Indecency with Children Act 1960.

Police and social services instead blame the victim, or turn a blind eye. The police and social services are never held to account – no-one is disciplined, struck off or sacked. Instead, we, the victims, are classified as second class citizens and therefore undeserving of protection just because of our vulnerability and family breakdown.

My case is no different than any other child such as those in Rotherham, the victims of a hierarchy of MPs apparently involved with Paedophile Rings and celebrities such as Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and countless others who have been given a free hand to abuse children at will because of the power they yield within society.  

It is fitting to start my story with the children of Rotherham because their voices, like mine, remained unheard for many years. From 1997-2013, Rotherham's most vulnerable girls, some as young as 11, were raped by large numbers of men. The victims were offered gifts, rides in cars, cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis. Sex took place in cars, bushes and the play areas of parks.

In my own case, the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of the eldest son in the foster family I was placed with was a very public affair. This led to five neighbours reporting and even with these independent witnesses, social services and the police did nothing to protect me. My case was dismissed. Was it because they had classified me as a mixed race person and “Educationally Subnormal”?  Did they see me as a second class citizen with no access to the law?  I was a foster child left in a totally unsafe negligent environment by social services for the next 3 years! Why was no action taken?! It appears to me now there was a total lack of care or procedure. The blatant failure of police and social services to protect me is similar to the prevalent failures of the police in Rotherham today. It shows nothing has changed within 48 years – they are still turning a blind eye[1]

 

Even today, since I started looking for answers, the police have done nothing to help me. Their behaviour is questionable and this is still having a devastating effect on me personally which is preventing closure. I suffer from PTSD as a result. The police are placing "brick walls" in my way preventing me from finding out the truth. For example, not only are they refusing to deal with their failure to investigate the sexual abuse I suffered all those years ago, but they have also destroyed documents in my case just as they did in many other cases[2]. They have also failed to abide by the law by ignoring the Indecency with Children Act 1960 and all Data Protection Legislation. To date they have never apologised.


There are so many reports today of professionals making decisions that are detrimental to survivors like me, with no re-dress. This compounds the pain to me as a child abuse victim.
It feels like those professionals in the police and Social Services who are meant to cater for my needs are now abusing me all over again.

 

I am living a life sentence as a victim and survivor of child abuse. Day by day I am plagued with the horrors of PTSD which are particularly traumatic. I have flashbacks and nightmares from when I was 12 years of age when I was sexually abused, being strangled, penetrated and raped. I wake up jolted from my sleep smelling and tasting the breath of the abuser. I fight, lash out and scream not knowing where I am and feel that I am being physically undressed. I feel I’m not able to defend myself. I have Urine Incontinency and often wet my own bed.

Other symptoms of PTSD include night sweats,  irregular heartbeats, sleep deprivation, a sense of hopelessness, Amnesia, self-blaming, self-despising, low self-esteem, worthlessness and feeling suicidal.

What can we do?

1.   Do not accept “NO” as an answer.

2.   Do not allow yourself to be criminalised.

3.   Obtain your files from social services.

4.   Obtain police records.

5.   Make use of the Police And Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) to make sure your records namely finger prints are destroyed.

6.   Join or start women’s campaign groups and demand justice.

7.   The Police are involved in massive cover ups with regard to childhood sexual abuse.  Accuse them but be prepared they will be vicious in their response.

8.   SPEAK OUT, NAME & SHAME

TO ALL THE CHILDREN OF ROTHERHAM and others around the country WHO WERE ABUSED  AND ABUSED BY THE SO-CALLED PROFESSIONAL AGENCIES;

I SHARE YOUR PAIN!!


[1] “Blatant failures of political and police leadership contributed to the sexual exploitation of 1,400 children in Rotherham over a 16-year period, according to an uncompromising report published in the aftermath of allegations of gang rape and trafficking in the South Yorkshire town”. (The Guardian, Wednesday 27 August 2014).

[2] Historic Cases Review of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard by Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, 2012 

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