“Susie”, a victim who was interviewed by Louise Casey, appointed by Eric Pickles to lead the inspection of children’s services at Rotherham council, was a happy girl who did well at school. She came from a loving family. At the age of 14 she met one of the ringleaders in Rotherham’s child sexual exploitation gangs.
She said that the report was no surprise to her.
“I was expecting the report to be bad. I’ve lived through it. It’s good that Louise Casey believed people like me and acted on it. It was emotional to hear and read but it’s a good day. It’s the beginning of the truth. People want justice, we won’t get that til the truth comes out.”
Soon after meeting the brother of a trusted school friend, Susie was besotted with the handsome, charming, older man. But within months, the dedicated student had distintegrated under the spell of a man who terrorised her with threats and beatings.
Her rapid decline and underage pregnancies failed to elicit real support from agencies, and, at 15, her frantic parents agreed to put her in care hundreds of miles from Rotherham. But her abuser remained in contact.
“He had the house phone so if he couldn’t get me on my mobile, he rang the house phone.”
Eventually, when her abuser threatened to kill her, Susie ran for her life.
But the damage was done, and Susie spent over a decade working in the sex industry until persistent rages and violent outbursts led her to seek support. It was 12 years before Susie realised she had been exploited. “I’m angry because I can’t believe how much and for how long they have got away with.”
“I would never have been able to put any trust in Rotherham council (RMBC) – now we can begin afresh and a lot of people feel the same way. There have been too many horrific things have happened within RMBC and now we need the same investigation into South Yorkshire police.”
“I was with another victim when we heard the news and even though we have lived with this all our lives it brings everything back.
“Even after the Jay report I was called a liar by members of the council. Now I think I will be taken more seriously. I’m not the only person it happened to, we have all been through this pain and it can never be undone, and now we have to make sure other people don’t go through the same pain. I’m happy that the report has been done because it is what I have always known.”