I AM writing in response to an anonymous letter published in the Rotherham Advertiser that I, and many of my constituents, felt was deeply offensive.
This particular letter suggested that my recent calls in Parliament for justice for the Rotherham child sexual exploitation victims were an attempt to turn abused children into “a weaponised political attack”.
The letter continued to deliberately obfuscate the issue by referring to the Catholic Church. This approach does not protect victims, nor does it seek to address the root causes of this local travesty.
This seems to be a common tactic by those who wish to try and downplay or reduce culpability of those that turned a blind eye to the rape of 1,500 children in Rotherham. Until not only the perpetrators are brought to justice, but those that enabled it are never allowed to hold any position of authority ever again, we can never move forward.
I am sure your readers will agree that what happened in Rotherham over decades is a mark of shame that we as a country shall bear until every single perpetrator and enabler faces justice.
I am sure your readers will also agree that what made this abuse all the more outrageous is the silent complicity of the local authorities, who were supposed to serve to protect us.
As an elected representative, I have a duty to protect the children and young people living in my constituency. My hope is that by talking about the sensitive issue of child sexual exploitation and trying to pass new legislation, such as Sammy’s Law, we will be able to better protect our community from those who would do us harm.
I will never be silenced, nor will I ever be silent on this issue.
There is no other point to be made.
Alexander Stafford, MP Rother Valley