Three Girls – Child Sexual Exploitation
Many will already have been aware of the devastating child grooming scandal which swept across UK towns and cities and was brought further into the public eye by the BBC’s recent harrowing drama, Three Girls, based on three girls affected in Rochdale. It told the true story of the girls’ ordeal and the failings by local services in Rochdale between 2008 and 2012.
The drama highlights the previous lack of understanding and lack of belief in the young girls by the local authority, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. Rochdale’s Crisis Intervention Team repeatedly tried to raise the alarm that the girls were at risk but matters were not escalated as they should have been. Thankfully, Nazir Afzal, Chief Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in the north-west of England at the time, re-opened investigations. A change in approach held the nine men responsible for the abuse inflicted and all were convicted of their crimes.
Whilst many undoubtedly found the drama a difficult watch, in terms of raising awareness of child sexual exploitation it was fantastic and has hopefully enhanced awareness of current child protection issues and offers hopes to many who may have suffered in a similar way.
Helen Horne, Associate at Enable Law says, “Three Girls ends by reinforcing the message that what happened in Rochdale was not unique; serious case reviews into child sexual exploitation have been conducted in recent years in Torbay, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Bristol. It is imperative that we understand and be mindful that children in our community could be affected and that local services must work together to uncover the abuse as early as possible, and minimise the effect it has upon our young people.”
Helen Horne is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and has considerable experience of representing survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know has been affected by childhood abuse, please contact Helen for advice on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 03303 116773.