UK

Rotherham Victim, 15, Trafficked For Sex, Doused In Petrol And Threatened To Be Set Alight

26/08/2014 22:04 BST | Updated 26/08/2014 22:59 BST

One young Rotherham victim was trafficked for sex to Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield by the time she was 15 years old and was doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight. Referred to as Child B in today's report, the teenager was "groomed by an older man involved in the exploitation of other children".

The report said: "Child B loved this man. He trafficked her to Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield and offered to provide her with a flat in one of those cities. A child protection referral was made but the social care case file recorded no response to this."

The report detailed how "within just a few months Child B and her family were living in fear of their lives".

The windows of their house were put in, she was threatened with being forced into prostitution and her older sibling was taken to hospital. The report said: "Child B and her mother refused to have anything more to do with the police because they believed the police could do nothing to protect them."

It added: "Child B had been stalked and had petrol poured over her head and was threatened with being set alight. She took overdoses. She and her family were too terrified to make statements to the police."

The report said the teenager was homeless by the time she was 18. It concluded: "She referred herself to children's social care and was given advice about benefits. No further action was taken. This child and her family were completely failed by all services with the exception of Risky Business (a local support group)."

A girl referred to as Child D was 13 when she was groomed, raped and trafficked by a violent sexual predator in the town. Police and children's social care were ineffective and seemed to blame the child," the report said.

It said: "An initial assessment accurately described the risks to Child D but appeared to blame her for 'placing herself at risk of sexual exploitation and danger'." And the report concluded: "Other than Risky Business, agencies showed no comprehension that she had been groomed at 13, that she was terrified of the perpetrators, and that her attempts to placate them were themselves a symptom of the serious emotional harm that child sexual exploitation had caused her."

One victim, who used the assumed name Emma Jackson, told BBC Radio 5 Live she had been abused from the age of 13. She said: "People have been sexually abused and sexually assaulted in the worst way possible. They've had their dignity taken away from them, their self-respect, everything in life worth living for.

"These aren't adults, these aren't children. And these professionals have sat behind their desks, took their wages, known this is happening, and done nothing about it. To me that makes them as bad as the perpetrators."