A tragic victim of the Telford grooming gang has told how she was forced to bring her child to see her rapist or face being arrested.
The vulnerable young white girl was targetted by the majority Muslim gang of Pakistani origin which attacked up to a thousand girls. She got pregnant at 14 then gave birth when she was 15.
The victim known as ‘Alison’ to protect her identity said:
This has been happening for years and it’s an absolute disgrace. I was forced to take my child to a contact centre to see my abuser, where I had to sit across from him. He wanted to hurt me by targeting the thing I loved most in the world
It was just another way of trying to control me. Despite the fact I’d repeatedly tried to tell police and social services what was going on, the court allowed him to see my child.
I was told I would be held in contempt and arrested if I didn’t take him to the contact centre. They made me feel like I was the one in the wrong. I was terrified I’d go to jail. The whole thing was extremely traumatic. It gave my child nightmares for years.
It seems like the rights of victims always come second to the rights of perpetrators. The system re-traumatises victims like me. It allows for further emotional abuse.”
Sammy Woodhouse has been campaigning on this and revealed that Rotherham council had approached her rapist in prison to invite him to seek access to her child that she gave birth to aged only 15.
This isn’t just happening to me. This is happening to people all over the country. It’s wrong and it’s got to stop. Children are being removed [from victims], given to rapists, murderers, for their family to have access.
Rape victims are also having to go to support centres to share access, to see the men that raped them. I’m asking the public to join the campaign. People — women and children — are being put at direct risk.”