LETTER TO THE EDITOR: When will they listen to the children they failed?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: When will they listen to the children they failed?

By Admin | 07/01/2022

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: When will they listen to the children they failed?

I WATCHED the recent Improving Lives Select Commission (ILSC) where the ruling Labour group of councillors stumbled through a report on support services for those young people who have been and are currently being so wickedly failed by Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police.

Rotherham Council and the ruling Labour group is institutionally stupid. I say “stupid” as the definition of that word is “having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense”.

The report which they brought before the ILSC was a colossal exercise in the people who are failing marking their own homework.

Rotherham Council failed these children.

South Yorkshire Police failed these children.  

Both organisations are still failing these children.  

In that context, how is it possible for councillors to embark on an exercise to evaluate services for children being raped, beaten, trafficked and abused but to exclude those children and their voices?

Cllr Cusworth is very efficient at telling the meeting what she can not do, what she will not do and what is beyond her remit but as the person in charge of strategy and direction of children services it’s her job to involve children in reports like this to ensure those voices are heard.

Cllr Cusworth said it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to talk to survivors as this could trigger trauma.

These children, some now adults, were stolen from their childhoods and above all else were thrown in to horrific situations where they were so very scared, frightened, mocked, bullied and betrayed by their rapists, abusers and those in the council and the police.

Inviting those survivors to write their experiences down, to possibly talk about their views on services via a third party such as an independent sexual violence advocate if they wish to or to send in their thoughts and feelings via the post wouldn’t be triggering as it would be giving the survivors control.

It would be giving the people who have been abused and betrayed in the most horrific way possible the control over what they disclose.

I know a lot of survivors have felt that they have no control over what Rotherham Council does as it moves from one disastrous mistake to another.

Giving survivors control on what they tell a report such as the one talked about here would be, for many survivors, and I include myself in this, a chance to tell their story and to remind Rotherham Council that this is not a “past trauma” but one that is very much alive and infecting our communities.

Councillors Emily Barley and Jill Thompson rightly deserve and receive praise for their continued advocacy on this subject.

I noted the unkind treatment of Cllr Cooksey towards Cllr Thompson and despite it being wholly unfair I am proud that Cllr Thompson returned to the important matter at hand.

I was shocked to read that all these years after South Yorkshire Police were found to be failing children we are yet to have a single call handler trained on child sexual exploitation.

This is the same policing organisation that doesn’t record the ethnicity of child sex offenders and thus is internally wheel clamping itself in to an inefficiency.

Both organisations are taking us for fools.

When does the rot end?

When are children going to be listened to?

When are survivors from yesteryear and yesterday going to be listened to?

When will Rotherham Council hear our children’s voices?

When will South Yorkshire Police listen to and act on CSE?

Our communities want answers.

Name and Address Supplied



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