As many as 373 children may have been targeted for sex by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the last 16 years, a serious case review found.
The investigation came after a sadistic sex gang of seven men were jailed in 2013 for abusing six girls in Oxford, between 2004 and 2012.
Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council made “many errors” in that case and could have acted sooner.
A victim of the gang said the issue had been “swept under the carpet”.
Of the 373 cases, the council said about 50 victims were boys.
Speaking at a press conference, the chair of Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB) Maggie Blyth said: “What happened to the victims is deeply disturbing.
“It is shocking that these children were subjected to such appalling sexual exploitation for so long.
“[There was] a culture across all organisations that failed to see that these children were being groomed in an organised way by groups of men.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, Oxford East MP Andrew Smith called on the government to set up an independent inquiry.
The report highlighted a “professional tolerance to knowing young teenagers were having sex with adults”.
The report revealed that a view had developed among staff that victims, who were often seen to be from difficult families, were bringing problems on themselves.
They were described as “precocious” and “very difficult girls making bad choices”, who had decided to adopt a certain lifestyle and were exaggerating their claims.
As a result, the girls were dismissive and hostile to staff because they felt like they were being criticised. Staff in turn allegedly treated victims without common courtesies and subjected them to “snide remarks”.
One girl said social services “washed their hands” of her, telling her her behaviour was “her choice”.
Another recounted how she arrived at a police station at in the early hours of the morning, “blood all over me, soaked through my trousers”.
She said: “They dismissed it as me being naughty, a nuisance. I was bruised and bloody.”
The language used by professionals indicated they saw the girls as the cause of their extreme behaviour instead of as victims and they received much less sympathy as a result, the report said.
“The child victims and their families feel very let down,” wrote Dr Bedford. “Their accounts of how they perceived professional work are disturbing and chastening.”
Despite the ages of the victims, a tolerance to young teenagers having sex with adults appears to have formed among professionals.
This was in part due to a lack of understanding around consent laws and an acceptance that nationally, children are being sexualised at a young age and can acquire contraception long before they are legally able to have sex.
This confusion, combined with judgements being made about the victims and their families, detracted from what was being done to the girls, the report said.
“The reluctance in many places, both political and professional, to have any firm statements about something being ‘wrong’, creates an environment where it is easier for children to be exploited,” Dr Bedford wrote.
“[But] this is an issue reaching way beyond Oxfordshire and requires a national debate.”
The girls being dismissed as having made a ‘lifestyle choice’ to be ‘child prostitutes’ (that’s not spelt out in these reports, but it has been elsewhere ), were aged between 11 and 15:
(the above from BBC Oxford’s news feed here)
The first report I link to does mention “arranging or facilitating prostitution” as part of what was going on, but also says:
“The girls, aged between 11 and 15, were plied with alcohol and drugs and led to believe their abusers were their boyfriends.
They were then each either abused by the men themselves, given to the men’s friends or offered at a price to others who were not on trial.”
These men were pimps, and the abuse of these 11- to 15-year-old girls was part of the sex industry, but nobody wants to talk about that (or track down and prosecute the men who paid to rape them), to acknowledge that there is no neat and clean divide between adult prostitution and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (I agree with the recent call to stop calling it ‘child prostitution’, but that change does serve to further distance the two and pretend that there is no overlap).
I first blogged about this back in 2011, and, still, no one in the mainstream wants to talk about the influence of mainstream pornography, or about male entitlement which is reinforced by the increasing expansion and normalisation of the sex industry.
It is acknowledged in coded terms, ie “children are being sexualised at a young age”. Let’s break down what that is actually saying:
Police and social workers, influenced by pornography and pop-culture (which itself is influenced by pornography) saw it as ‘normal’ (as in ‘commonplace’ and therefore ‘ok’) for girls as young as eleven to be sexually active.
These are the same forces that work on girls and young women to tell them that their only value comes through their sexuality (and, unlike in bygone ages, it has to be on display to be valued), and on boys and men to make them feel entitled to that sexuality.
So the ‘explanation’ here is that the ‘authorities’ who were supposed to be protecting these girls, were as porn-sick as the men abusing them, so didn’t see any abuse.
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk (Labour) said agencies had actively ignored the abuse and that “social services believed these girls were making lifestyle choices”.
“The biggest issue to come out of this report is that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were effectively discriminating against poor, white, working-class girls, so that’s not about a failure to spot abuse, that is about actively ignoring abuse that was going on when it was brought to their attention,” he said.
One father called Children’s Social Care (CSC) up to 50 times, reporting his daughter’s “uncontrollable drinking, running away and difficult behaviour”.
Social workers told him she was “a child prostitute”, and he accepted this “because he did not know that it was wrong”, the review said.
Ten men have been charged by police investigating child sexual exploitation in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
The men are accused of a catalogue of serious sex offences against seven females aged between 13 and 23 at the time of the alleged abuse, police said.
They were held under Operation Doublet, investigating child sexual exploitation of teen girls by older men in Rochdale.
The offences are alleged to have happened between 2005 and 2013.
They include rape, conspiracy to rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.
More than 300 young people have been groomed and sexually exploited by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the past 15 years, a damning report into the failures of police and social services to stop years of sexual torture, trafficking and rape will reveal.
The victims, mostly girls, come predominantly from the city of Oxford, increasing concerns that the grooming and exploitation of vulnerable young people by groups of older men is not confined to the inner cities. One senior investigative source said: “If you think you haven’t got a problem in your city or town, you are just not looking for it.”
Police and social services in Oxfordshire will be heavily criticised for not doing enough to stop years of violent abuse and enslavement of six young girls, aged 11-15, by a gang of men. Such was the nature of the abuse, suffered for more than eight years by the girls, it was likened to torture. All of the victims had a background in care.
A serious case review by the Oxfordshire safeguarding children’s board, to be published on Tuesday, will condemn Thames Valley police for not believing the young girls, for treating them as if they had chosen to adopt the lifestyle, and for failing to act on repeated calls for help.
Oxfordshire social services – which had responsibility for the girls’ safety – will be equally damned for knowing they were being groomed and for failing to protect them despite compelling evidence they were in danger. One social worker told a trial that nine out of 10 of those responsible for the girls was aware of what was going on.
The serious case review has put a figure on the numbers exploited to give an idea of the scale of the problem. The report will say more than 300 young people have been subjected to grooming and abuse between 1999 and 2014 in Oxfordshire alone.
I saw a photoset of a dude with a beard in different stereotypically “feminine” outfits talking about how he’s “genderfluid” and all these people were commenting about how gorgeous/stunning/amazing and brave/inspirational he is and it pissed me off so much, I can guarantee if it were a gnc woman in stereotypical masculine clothes & body hair no one would be commenting about how ~stunning~ or ~brave~ she is. And apparently wearing certain clothes is all that’s required to be “genderfluid”…?
That’s one thing I love about Iggy Pop, and Bowie and those glam rockers. Even Eddie Izzard, a “transvestite” comedian.
When asked why they wear “feminine” clothes, they look at the interviewer like they’re nuts.
Iggy Pop said it best:
“Wear women’s clothes? This isn’t a woman’s dress – it’s mine!”
Which makes sense.
You wanna feel a breeze, be my guest, guys. But just like Highlanders aren’t genderfluid for wearing kilts (by all means tell them that, though, I’ll watch), wearing a dress doesn’t mean a damn thing.
It’s regressive and conservative – and it reminds me of nothing more than my Evangelical relatives saying that girls must wear skirts and boys must wear trousers and anything else was transgressing against God’s Word.
So, you know it’s bad when the glitterqueers sound like actual fundamentalists.
QotD: “if you’re a male ‘feminist’ have you tried literally not talking to women about misogyny and leaving us alone?”
like if you’re a male ‘feminist’ have you tried literally not talking to women about misogyny and leaving us alone? have you tried to talk to men at all about how they are misogynists? have you tried getting the men in your life to change? every second you waste talking about feminism to women is time you could have spent getting men to stop being misogynists, not to mention you are wasting our time by making everything about you. i literally do not care about anything you have to say, shut up, listen, then go talk to your male peers and leave us all the hell alone.
It kind of pisses me off that “feminism” in itself means pro-sex, pro-porn, pro-kink, pro-gender, liberal, straight, white; “pro-choice”.
And as soon as your feminism is different, you’re not just a feminist. You’re a radical feminist or a black feminist or a lesbian feminist or an abolitionist.
Why do they get the label “feminist” ? Why is their feminism considered the purest one?
It is the only one that is patriarchy approved. The rest are way too uppity to be acceptable to men.
I have decided to undertake a massive overhaul of the categories used by this blog; with over one thousand posts from six-plus years of blogging, it has become unwieldy.
My aim is to have more categories, with fewer posts in them (although some, like ‘quote of the day’, which is a catch-all for anything not written by me, and anything that doesn’t fall into any other category, will remain unwieldy).
Some categories will merely be re-named, others will be merged; some, for example ‘violence against women’ and ‘objectification/comodification’, are so broad, they cover most of the blog and are therefore not useful. Other categories will become more exacting; for example, ‘Radical Feminism’ will be for posts specifically about radical feminist theory, politics, and activism, not just anything I think is good from a radical feminist point-of-view.
My aim is to create a system that allows readers to easily find out what I have written on a subject (and therefore avoid wasting my time and embarrassing themselves with stupid, lazy questions).
The only really big change is the loss of the category ‘pro-sex anti-porn'; I took it down as the tag-line of the blog quite a while ago, as I thought that, while it worked well as a slogan for protesting outside the Playboy Store on Oxford Street, it was not nuanced enough for what I want to do with this blog. Since I have had some shit-for-brains dudebro tell me that ‘pro-sex anti-porn’ means I “should absolutely be cheering for heterosexuality” I know that my decision was the right one.
It’s going to take a while, and things will be a mess in the mean time. Here is a screen-cap of the current categories, in case anyone wants to make a comparison:
In the “U.S.” last year, Congress approved a law — promoted by the Obama administration — that for the first time will allow Indian tribes to prosecute certain crimes of male violence committed by non-Indians in Indian country. The Justice Department on Thursday announced it had chosen three tribes for a pilot project to assert the new authority.
While the law has been praised by tribal leaders, native women and the administration as a significant first step, it still falls short of protecting all Indian women from the epidemic of violence they face on tribal lands.
The new authority, which will not go into effect for most of the country’s 566 federally recognized Indian tribes until March 2015, covers domestic violence committed by non-Indian husbands and boyfriends, but it does not cover sexual assault or rape committed by non-Indians who are “strangers” to their victims. It also does not extend to native women in Alaska.
Ojibwe member Lisa Brunner (Program Specialist for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center) is out to change this. Read more here: [New law offers protection to abused Native American women]
The way that women are treated and the way that the land is treated are interconnected, and enmeshed.
QotD: “For a woman to masturbate to, or enact, the rape and torture of women & girls she must disassociate from the one being hurt, thereby disassociating from any part of herself that is, has been, or could be victimized”
For a woman to masturbate to, or enact, the rape and torture of women & girls she must disassociate from the one being hurt, thereby disassociating from any part of herself that is, has been, or could be victimized. Finding pleasure in another woman’s pain is a way to not feel one’s own vulnerability or hurt and to do that a woman must get over on other victimized women. The abuse is compounded when a lesbian gets off on a woman being degraded as a lesbian. Both are disassociation from the self as woman and as lesbian in an attempt to identify with not women/lesbians and with men. This is no new, radical sex order. It’s just women abusing women.
The men in the pornography and prostitution industry would like nothing better than for women to use pornography, identify with the sexist and racist sexuality of pornography, and orgasm to the sexual humiliation of women. Celebrating or accepting the sexual degradation of women and girls in pornography and prostitution is connected to what happens in the ‘rest of the world.’ It is especially harmful when lesbians get off on sexual torture because they are (at least) twice oppressed: as women and as lesbians. In a world where 1 out of 3 girls are sexually abused before they turn 18; and lesbians are targeted for hate crimes; and lesbians live with disabilities, racism and poverty; and lesbian women and girls are used in pornography, prostitution & battered in relationships; violence against lesbians is not a fantasy. Resistance is crucial to the survival of lesbians, and lesbian pornography negates lesbian existence.
Stark, C., 2005 “Girls to boyz: Sex Radical Women promoting prostitution, pornography and sadomasochism” in Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography