For over 12 years, hundreds of children have been systematically raped and subjected to several forms of sexual exploitation in a northern English town, says a recent government report.
The report also exposed cultural tensions and lack of communication between authorities and the town’s ethnic minorities that may have helped stop it.
An earlier report revealed that social counsellors saw the signs of sexual exploitation, but took no measure to remedy the situation, until an inquiry’s report made the matter available on its website.
Shocking revelations in the recent report include gang-rape and death threats.
Between 1997 and 2013, over 1,300 cases of abuse were reported, and this year alone, investigators have handled 51 cases.
“There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set ablaze, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone,” the recent report says.
Some victims as young as 11-year were gang-raped by large numbers of male perpetrators,” the inquiry says.
Politicians, social services and the police have been accused for blatant failure to stop the perpetrators from carrying out their dastardly acts, citing an inability to traverse cultural barriers with Rotherham’s small Muslim community.
Before the report was made public, an earlier report said that “Asian” gangs originally were exploiting women and girls “for their personal gratification,” but later turned to making money with it, passing girls around.
Counsellors who spoke on the matter believed that, by opening up these issues, political groups may capitalize on it, reasoning that it may threaten community cohesion.
“The first of these reports was effectively suppressed, because some senior officers disbelieved the data it contained were exaggerated,” the report said.