GROOMERS thrive in their victim’s silence — but if you speak out someone will listen.
That was the message from a child sex abuse survivor who today has seen her abusers jailed for 96 years.
The woman, now 27, hugged and wept her parents in court as the eight men were sentenced after being convicted of 19 sexual offences committed against her in 2003 when she was 13 to 14.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and her family have fought for 13 years to get justice after police did not proceed with her sexual abuse complaints against Sageer Hussain, Masoued Malik and Naeem Rafiq in 2003.
But despite her long battle with the authorities she insisted “things have changed” and said everyone played a part in stamping out child sexual exploitation (CSE).
The survivor, whose statement was read outside court by Hayley Fisher from Victim Support South Yorkshire, said: “I want to thank South Yorkshire Police (Operation Clover), the Police and Crime Commissioner, Rotherham Council, the ISVA service, Victim Support and, of course, my mum and dad for all of the hard work and support each of them has offered.”
Watch the full video for all her statement plus reaction from Det Chief Insp Martin Tate, senior investigating officer fom SYP, and Ian Thomas, RMBC director of children's services.
Anyone with concerns about child sexual exploitation can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the national helpline Say Something on 116 000.
Always call 999 in an emergency.