This true story is written by Jayne Senior who fought to expose the Rotherham abuse scandal. For 14 years, she (and her colleagues at Risky Business) tried to help girls in CSE (Child Sexual Expoiltation) by listening, believing and never judging them.
The authorities failed to act perhaps because so many people do not understand the grooming process. The initial stages of grooming are not abuse; if they were, the abuser would never get to the next stage of his plan. The younger the girl is (say, 9 to 11), the more she is likely to be taken in by the grooming process – meeting men, travelling around in their fancy cars, being offered free drinks and soft drugs, being taken to McDonald’s and being treated to food. To them, they were living a life far removed from the day-to-day reality of school and home. If a child trusts you, they will tell you everything, and that’s how grooming works. Once the abused has this information, he has a great deal of power over his victim because he knows exactly what threats and actual acts of physical or psychological abuse will have the most impact.
Risky Business had both a steering group and a key playing group, attended by both senior police and social service representatives. CSE is a jigsaw that everyone involved in protecting a child has different pieces of information to share.
The ripple effect of CSE tears into families like the aftershock of a bomb going off. The authorities tried to silence her, but Jayne Senior risked arrest to make the truth known and stood up for the victims of the worst abuse scandal in Rotherham.