Idyllic Shropshire is hardly a county one would imagine a sex abuse scandal would occur in. But unfortunately, in the past ten days, there have been a disturbing amount of reports coming from Telford about a child sexual abuse ring which could dwarf that of Rochdale and Rotherham.
On the 11th March 2018, the Sunday Mirror reported, as part of a special investigation, about a child abuse sex-ring which is believed to have been in operation for the past 40 years.
It seems that, similar to the Rochdale and Rotherham cases, authorities such as the police and local government failed to “stamp-out” the network of abusers. Therefore, victims, past and present, may be entitled to compensation.
According to the Sunday Mirror’s report, the 18-month investigation unveiled the following:
- “Social workers knew of abuse in the 1990s, but police took a decade to launch a probe
- Council staff viewed abused and trafficked children as “prostitutes” instead of victims, according to previously unseen files
- Authorities failed to keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of “racism”
- Police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened
- One victim said cops tried to stop her finding out why her abusers had not been prosecuted because they feared she would talk to us (reporters at the Sunday Mirror)”
Conservative MP Lucy Allan calls for a public inquiry
Since the story in the Sunday Mirror broke, Lucy Allan, MP for Telford, has said she has been “inundated” with emails from young women saying “this has happened to me” since she raised the issue in Parliament. She told the BBC:
I have also spoken to a consultant psychiatrist who has had many patients who have experienced this issue and are dealing with the mental health consequences of this terrible crime.
It is clear this has been going on for many years and a significant number of girls have been affected".
Authorities knew of the abuse for decades
The Sunday Mirror report alleges documents which will be passed to the Home Office will show authorities have known about the child sex abuse ring in Telford for decades.
Experts believe the true number of victims will never be known because many will be too frightened to come forward. A woman whose identity was hidden (she was referred to as ‘Holly’) told Good Morning Britain about her ordeal last week. She said she was abused between the ages of 14 and 18 and had attempted to kill herself.
"It was just a whirlwind of rape every day basically. I was going into the doctors and the youth sexual health clinic to get the morning after pill, probably twice a week, and nobody even questioned anything.
I had two abortions, still nothing was said to me. I was in cars that were stopped by the police and they asked me no questions of why I was there with a much older man... it got to the point where I tried to commit suicide, and still nobody asked me any questions about what was going on in my life and why I was reacting the way I was reacting.”
Claiming compensation for historic sexual abuse
If a local authority or the police fail to protect vulnerable minors from sexual abuse, they may be liable in negligence, meaning compensation can be claimed by the victims.
Sexual abuse is never the victim's fault. Local authorities owe a duty of care to children who are in their care, and failure to protect them from grooming and paedophile rings may be a breach of that duty.
The first step towards claiming compensation is to talk to a personal injury solicitor who can provide you with the best legal advice. At IBB Claims, our sensitive, experienced team, led by abuse claims expert - Malcolm Underhill, will visit you and/or your child in your home (if this is more comfortable for you) and quickly establish whether you may have a claim for compensation.
We understand the financial pressure many people who have suffered sexual abuse face, which is why we offer a ‘no win, no fee’ payment arrangement (also known as a conditional fee arrangement). This means that, should your claim for compensation be unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any legal fees. You may, however, need to pay any expenses relating to your case; we will explain these to you at the outset and during the process if any are likely to be incurred.
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse in Telford, or in other circumstances, please get in touch with Malcolm and his team.
At IBB, our personal injury team has the expertise and knowledge to advise and represent you if you wish to seek compensation for sexual abuse. To talk about how we might be able to help, please phone us on 0333 123 9099, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form. Any discussions you have with us will be in the strictest of confidence.